The Fight Over Constitutional Protection

The Michigan and GOP leaders in the House and Senate finally filed a lawsuit against Big Gretch and her executive orders. Instead of voting to approve Gov. Whitmer’s extension, they voted to sue her. Finally.

“We firmly believe the governor is acting beyond her authority and has left us no choice other than to seek clarification from the courts,” Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey said. The lawsuit was filed due to Whitmer’s failure to comply with existing state law and for her disregard of the Michigan constitution. 

The Legislature did not approve an extension of the state emergency declaration, and as such the state expected the declaration to end. The governor ignored the law, unilaterally extended the emergency, and wrote new executive orders. If all of this was left unchecked, the governor could extend the authority indefinitely. Michigan citizens cannot wait that long for a path forward to regain their lives back and put food on the table.

There are two laws that give the governor discretion. The first law was passed after Detroit riots in 1945 that gave the governor the ability to quell an uprising as needed. The second law was passed in 1976 that says a governor can declare an emergency during any time (including pandemics) but that the governor would need to go to the legislature after 28 days to get an extension. Governor Whitmer cancelled her original E.O from the beginning of April and reissued new ones now declaring she has a new time clock and doesn’t need approval.

If the governor was allowed to get away with this then any governor current or future could keep the citizens of the State of Michigan in an emergency lockdown in perpetuity by issuing an E.O and canceling it every 27 days and ordering new ones. 

The GOP leader said in a statement after filing the lawsuit “Today Majority Leader Shirkey and Speaker Chatfield have taken a stand for the Michigan Constitution and the system of checks and balances our state and nation are built on. No single person, despite their intentions, should be given unilateral power over our state indefinitely. The time has come for the Governor to work with the Legislature to get our state through this crisis. After all, Michigan’s other governors have handled every other crisis in that fashion since our state’s founding.”

The only issue is that the Governor is still popular with an approval rating around 61% and the GOP hates to be seen as boat-rockers. Let us hope the GOP has the stomach for this fight and something other than cheap political points. What the government can and can’t do is a political issue and when something violates constitutional protection? Well, that is just plain illegal.