Discontent with draconian “stay at home” orders is rising all around America, and no governor has been criticized more than Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer (D).
The Democrat governor is now facing pushback from a new corner: four sheriffs in the state announced Wednesday that they will not fully enforce Whitmer’s far-reaching orders to contain the coronavirus, the Washington Examiner reported. The sheriffs said in a letter that Whitmer is “overstepping her executive authority” and that they will follow “common sense” and put the Constitution first.
Patience wearing thin
All across America, patience with “stay at home orders” is beginning to wear thin as a financial crisis created by the lockdowns is putting millions of Americans out of work. At the same time, many are concerned about burgeoning signs of authoritarian overreach, especially in Michigan.
Governor Whitmer was blasted over recent expansions to her state’s lockdown, which include bans on travel between two residences and the purchase of “non-essential” goods from big-box stores, like paint and gardening supplies.
As thousands of outraged Michiganders rallied in Lansing on Wednesday, four sheriffs in the state’s 101st district said that Whitmer’s “vague framework” has created confusion and that they will not follow it all literally.
Sheriffs speak out
“We write today to inform the public for our respective counties of our opposition to some of Governor Whitmer’s executive orders. While we understand her desire to protect the public, we question some restrictions that she has imposed as overstepping her executive authority,” read the sheriffs’ letter.
Sheriffs Mike Borkovich, Ted Schendel, Ken Falk, and Kim Cole of Michigan said that they will assess violations with “common sense” and on a case by case basis. The sheriffs said that they had each taken an oath to uphold the Constitution and that they would do everything possible to protect the “God-given rights” of residents.
They concluded, “Our focus needs to be on reopening our counties and getting people back to work. We also need to be aware that this virus is deadly and that we need to continue to practice social distancing, washing of hands, wearing of masks as well as other medically recommended measures.”
Discontent with lockdowns grows
Despite the protests, Whitmer has not budged. Like many other governors, the Democrat is working with a rather hazy timeline, opting to focus on what the “data” and “experts” prescribe. She says that the state needs to significantly revamp its testing capacities before life can go back to normal, but when that may happen remains a moving target.
Whitmer also is facing a handful of federal lawsuits from residents who say that her orders have contravened their Constitutional rights, The New York Post reported. Their lawyer described her approach to the crisis as “taking a sledge hammer to an ant.”
Michigan is one of the nation’s coronavirus hotspots, along with New York and Louisiana, with over 29,000 cases and some 2,000 deaths as of Thursday. As anger continues to well up against the lockdowns, there are few signs of easing in other hard-hit areas like New York, whose governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday a one-month extension of the shutdown.
As many governors express caution to open the economy, President Donald Trump was expected to reveal a plan Thursday to start opening America that will leave governors in charge.