The Republican leadership in the state legislature of Michigan has filed a lawsuit against Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-Mich.) alleging that she has abused her power with her sweeping lockdown of the state during the coronavirus pandemic, according to USA Today.
Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives Lee Chatfield (R-Mich.) declared that “only the legislature has the power to extend the state of emergency,” arguing that Whitmer’s decision to extend the emergency declaration by herself was unconstitutional. Senate Majority Leader Mike Shrikey (R-Mich.) agreed, saying that “the legislature is left with no choice but to seek the court’s intervention to restore constitutional order.”
The Michigan House of Representatives previously passed the measure allowing the legislature to seek legal action against Whitmer last week, instead of voting to extend the emergency declaration. The vote occurred on the same day that protests at the capitol continued, with some protesters openly carrying but remaining peaceful as they protested Whitmer’s drastic executive actions.
Michigan has become the epicenter of the political battle over the ongoing economic lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Whitmer, like other Democrats throughout the country, has enacted sweeping bans on a range of activities and transactions, including traveling between homes and buying seeds to grow food.
As a result, there have been widespread protests with thousands of participants at the state’s capitol for the last several weeks, with President Donald Trump voicing his support for the protesters and encouraging Whitmer to ease restrictions. Whitmer’s stay-at-home order is set to expire on May 15th, with the latest extension of the statewide emergency set to end on May 28th, unless Whitmer chooses to further extend either or both orders.