Judge clears path for six recall petitions filed against Gov Gretchen Whitmer

Given the way Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) handled the COVID-19 pandemic in her state, it’s no wonder that a growing number of state politicians and groups are working overtime to oust her from office.

According to the Washington Examiner, a Michigan state judge cleared the legal path this week for no less than six recall petitions which all aim to kick the Democratic governor out of office, with one of the petitions aimed at Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist (D). 

What’s going on?

On Thursday, Judges Kathleen Jansen and Michael Gadola of the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that a Michigan Board of State Canvassers “correctly” approved the recall petitions, after initially being challenged by Whitmer and her counsel, who argued that the petitions were “unpersuasive.”

But as these situations typically go, Whitmer’s spokespeople have already issued statements claiming that they will appeal the court’s ruling, arguing that the cases failed to “adequately describe the authorities cited as reasons for the recall.”

Whitmer’s office went on to label the attempts to recall the poorly-performing governor as “partisan attacks”, going as far as suggesting that the attempts to recall her are “massive and coordinated” by Republicans in the state.

“This is part of a massive and coordinated attack by Republicans trying to make the governor fail, and our campaign will strenuously oppose these efforts so the governor can keep saving lives, reopening our economy and creating jobs,” Whitmer spokesperson Mark Fisk said.

Fisk failed to mention that the latest data proves that Whitmer is not, in fact, saving lives, as the state ranks 12th in COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 people, joining a majority of blue states — those with the harshest lockdowns and restrictions — that make up the top 15.

Rules for thee

Whitmer has also taken fire for being one of the Democrats that break the very rules that either they or their state put in place for the pandemic, with the latest incident involving an outing for a dinner party.

New controversy was stirred last week as a picture from Whitmer and her friends dining out at Landshark Bar & Grill in East Lansing emerged on the internet, which clearly showed the large group of at least 12 people joining tables together, which violated a restriction put in place just days before the photograph.

Conveniently, it wasn’t long after Whitmer awkwardly apologized for the incident — which she blamed on being “human” — that the state rescinded the order that barred parties from joining tables.

The incident marked the second time that the Democratic governor faced backlash for breaking her own rules, as she was caught traveling to Florida via private plane to visit her father at a time when air travel was discouraged by state health officials.

While it’s typically a daunting and monumentally resource-intensive process to successfully recall a sitting governor, Whitmer must only look toward California and Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) situation to realize that it’s more likely these days than ever before.

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