Michigan Legislature Files Lawsuit Against Gov. Whitmer for Extending Stay-At-Home Order

Michigan’s Republican-controlled state legislature is taking action against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) for her decision to extend the state’s stay-at-home order amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R) and House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R) both took to Twitter to announce they have filed a lawsuit against Whitmer.

“A crisis is not an excuse to break the law, but that’s exactly what our governor is doing,” Shirkey wrote.

He added, “We have no choice but to file suit on behalf of our constituents, who deserve transparency and checks and balances during this crisis – not to be governed by press releases or TV interviews.”

Chatfield called Whitmer’s actions “unconstitutional.”

“We’ve attempted to partner with our governor, but she’s rejected. We offered cooperation, but instead she chose court,” Chatfield said.

He continued, “This was avoidable, but today we filed a lawsuit in our state to challenge her unconstitutional actions. The law in Michigan is clear, and nobody is above it.”

The lawsuit comes shortly after Whitmer issued three executive orders on Thursday to extend the emergency and disaster declaration, as IJR previously reported.

The lawsuit alleges Whitmer has refused to work with the legislature.

“Expressly and publicly refusing to collaborate with the Legislature, Defendant has unilaterally crafted and implemented public policies governing almost every aspect of life in Michigan,” the lawsuit reads.

It lists the activities residents of Michigan are not able to do including going to work and school.

The lawsuit calls for a collective response from both the legislative and executive branches.

“COVID-19 presents real problems that call for a comprehensive and deliberative governmental response,” it reads.

The lawsuit continues, “But that response must be consensus-based and developed through cooperation between the legislative and executive branches – not through go-it-alone absolutism that ignores our State’s most democratic institutions and offends the rule of law.”

Whitmer was also met with opposition upon making the decision after protesters stormed the Michigan state capitol on Thursday.