U.S. Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-MI) has sued Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over her executive orders concerning the coronavirus pandemic.
The lawsuit alleges that Whitmer’s stay-at-home order and businesses restrictions have violated his rights and those of all Michigan residents.
“Michiganders can and do take reasonable, private action to protect themselves from infection without the need to shut down civil society,” Mitchell said in the lawsuit.
Mitchell said he is seeking a judicial declaration the executive orders are unconstitutional, saying that “such a declaration…will yield a more rational, pragmatic response to the virus.”
The lawsuit follows Whitmer terminating the original state of emergency and disaster declarations and reissuing them under the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945 and the Emergency Management Act of 1976. Both order are set to expire on May 28.
She also extended the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order until May 16. It was originally set to expire on April 30.
Whitmer’s executive orders have been recently met with increasing backlash, including protests in Lansing.
“Whether you agree with me or not, I am working to protect your life if you live in the state of Michigan. I’m going to continue to do my job,” she told Jake Tapper on CNN‘s “State of the Union” on Sunday.
“Invoking the State’s ‘police powers,’ a legal term of art, is not a license to slide, even temporarily, from a republican form of government,” Mitchell said in his lawsuit. “Police powers from a State’s constitution and the common law, but those powers remain at all times subject to the constitutional limits imposed on government, including its permissible form.”
Michigan currently has more than 45,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The death toll in the state is 4,250.
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Jordyn Pair is a reporter with The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]