As COVID-19 infection rates rise across much of the country, several states are already implementing strict new lockdown orders meant to stem the spread of the virus.
In response to such measures recently enacted by Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, some Republicans in the state are renewing their calls for her impeachment, Fox News reports.
“Unconstitutional executive orders”
A county in northern Michigan recently voted to support a resolution proposed by state GOP lawmakers, according to reports.
That resolution was first introduced last week by three Republicans in the state House and called for Whitmer to be impeached amid opposition from party leaders including Michigan Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield, who nonetheless opposes the impeachment effort.
Following up on that initiative was a 4–2 vote by the Kalkaska County Board of Commissioners on Friday to support the idea. Local reports indicate that Commissioner David Comai used the opportunity to condemn Whitmer’s “unconstitutional executive orders” related to the coronavirus as well as the economic pain they have caused.
The governor has long been a target for critics of COVID-19 restrictions, with many detractors accusing her of overstepping her authority. Her executive orders in response to the public health crisis sparked both large anti-lockdown protests and a number of legal challenges from GOP officials and private citizens.
In one particularly harrowing development, authorities say they foiled a plot to kidnap Whitmer, as Fox reported separately.
“Not the party that impeaches”
The latest calls to impeach Whitmer came on the heels of a three-week wave of restrictions she imposed, which impacted indoor gatherings ahead of Thanksgiving. Included in the order were a ban on indoor dining at restaurants and bars and a limit of two households present at any indoor residential gathering.
As the impeachment resolution against her asserted: “The state constitution does not permit the Governor to bypass the legislative process nor does it empower her to unilaterally make or amend laws for the protection of public health.”
Of course, the backlash against such restrictions is not limited to Whitmer or her state. Similar public sentiment has been brewing amid a resurgence of strict lockdown measures in various states.
Making matters worse, several prominent politicians who favor harsh restrictions have been caught ignoring their own recommendations.
While some regional Republican officials might support Whitmer’s impeachment, the larger GOP leadership in the state does not, as Chatfield explained: “We’re not the party that impeaches someone because we’re upset with policies that they’ve enacted. I thought it was shameful what the Democrats did to President Trump last year, and I would assume that any attempt by Republicans right now, with the current set of facts that we have to impeach the governor, would be on the same level.”