On Friday, a movement to remove emergency powers delegated to Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, announced that they had gathered 400,000 of the 500,000 signatures needed to place a measure on the ballot to remove statute that has been on the books since 1945.
According to an article in The Hill, the petitioners have raised over $900,000 and were able to collect 80% of the required signatures within 45 days. Petitioners expect to gather the remaining signatures before the end of the month, setting up the State Elections office 75 day review period.
State Republicans have state that if the required number of signatures are approved, that they will likely introduce Whitmer-proof legislation to repeal the powers in the Republican-controlled legislature, in order to avoid a costly ballot fight.
The move by organizations like Unlock Michigan come as no surprise as residents in the state won by Trump in 2016 have expressed frustration with Whitmer’s orders. Despite the fact that Michigan continues to be listed as a state with low new cases and deaths, Whitmer continues to enforce the orders she issued months ago.
Whitmer has asked voters to not sign the petition stating she is entitled to the powers held by previous governors since 1945, powers which she has used twice before during her time as Governor, both during previous weather-related disasters. Republicans in the legislature have asked the State Supreme Court to review the order, instead asking that Whitmer must seek approval from the body for extension and alterations to the months-long order.
Whitmer stated to the AP :
“Each governor since 1945 has had these same powers, and I’m going to fight to make sure that every governor after me has these powers if, God forbid, they find themselves in a situation where they have to be used.”
Interesting she feels she is entitled to unlimited power on how to respond to the Wuhan Virus, but yet remains critical of the Trump Administration’s response to the viral outbreak. Whitmer, a democrat, appeared at the DNC Convention in August.
One thing is for sure: Michiganders are not happy with this power being used for such a long period of time. Fred Wszolek, a spokesperson for Unlock Michigan, told the AP:
“No one should think that allowing a politician to have unlimited power for an unlimited duration is a good idea.”
While few had a problem with the lockdown measures instituted in the initial battle against the Wuhan Virus, as time has gone on, more and more Americans have fought against the measures, many now stating that continued powers should first be approved by the State’s legislatures rather than allow of unsupervised powers being held for unlimited times by a single person or body.