The Michigan state legislature, in which both chambers are controlled by the Republican Party, has stepped up and stripped the state’s Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer of her emergency powers that she utilized at will over the COVID-19 pandemic so far.
The Michigan state House of Representatives voted on Thursday to approve the Unlock Michigan initiative, passing it 60-48 in a vote mostly along party lines.
“Unlock Michigan” was already adopted by the state Senate in a vote last week.
“Your voices have been heard,” tweeted the Michigan House Republicans after the vote, explaining that the Unlock Michigan citizens’ initiative repealed the “unconstitutional 1945 state law” which Whitmer has been using in order to “hold unilateral power over the people” of Michigan.
The Democrat governor will not be able to veto the new legislation since the state’s Supreme Court already declared the 1945 law to be unconstitutional.
After the removal of Whitmer’s emergency pandemic powers was approved thanks to the courageous act of the Michigan Republicans, Michigan Congresswoman Lisa McClain declared it to have been “a great day” for the state.
McClain told Fox News on Friday that Thursday’s vote in the state House was “anything but partisan politics.”
She insisted it was “the voice of the people” who are saying that “enough is enough.”
Abusing the power
During the coronavirus pandemic so far, Whitmer, who is a highly polarizing and partisan figure, has made use of powers under the 1945 Emergency Powers of Governor Act.
Those allowed her to implement major health and safety restrictions in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nonetheless, many of her decisions have led to severe backlash.
In April, she faced tremendous pushback and protests for imposing lockdowns.
At one point, armed protesters even gather at the state’s Capitol with demands that Michigan’s Democrat governor repeal her highly controversial stay-at-home orders.
Back in March 2020, Whitmer did manage to beat back a similar push to restrict the emergency powers that she claimed under the 76-year-old law.
Back then Senate Bill 1 was sent from the state legislature to her desk in an attempt to modify Michigan’s public health code through the limiting to no more than 28 days of orders from the state’s Department of Health and Human Services.
Any orders with longer timespans would have to be approved by the state legislature, the draft law stipulated.
It would have been applied retroactively to the governor’s emergency orders issued since November 15, 2020.
To keep her ability to abuse power, Whitmer brazenly vetoed the bill arguing that epidemics aren’t “limited to 28 days”, and such a dent into her emergency powers would have limited “our ability to respond to them.”
After Thursday’s vote, Republican Michigan state Rep. Sue Allor declared that the Unlock Michigan initiative restores the voice of people, protects “the fundamental structure of representation” in the state, and “is a win for democracy.”