Republican lawmaker calls for Whitmer impeachment hearings

State Rep. Matt Maddock says the governor has ignored court orders and violated constitutional rights
Governor Whitmer speaking at press conference.
Governor Whitmer speaking at press conference.(Michigan Executive Office of the Governor)
Published: Nov. 16, 2020 at 6:09 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Following news of new coronavirus mandates announced Sunday evening, some Michigan Republicans are calling for impeachment hearings hearings against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

State Rep. Matt Maddock of Oakland County listed several reasons he thinks Whitmer should be impeached, including ignoring court orders and violating constitutional rights.

Republicans have openly criticized Whitmer for ignoring their ideas to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan. They claim she has acted unilaterally without input from the Republican-led Legislature throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

The Republican-led Legislature backed a lawsuit in the Michigan Supreme Court, which ended with an Oct. 2 ruling that stripped many of Whitmer’s emergency powers. She had been relying on the 1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor Act to make orders, but the Supreme Court ruled that law unconstitutional.

That in turn meant many of Whitmer’s orders were invalidated. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services began issuing epidemic orders similar to Whitmer’s on Oct. 5 under the state’s Public Health Code of 1978.

Republicans say the latest coronavirus restrictions, which take effect on Wednesday and will last three weeks, all happened without their input. But Whitmer pointed out that the Legislature remains on break while Michigan sets COVID-19 case records almost daily.

Whitmer’s press secretary released a response, saying she remains focused on saving lives.

“Governor Whitmer doesn’t have any time for partisan politics or people who don’t wear masks, don’t believe in science, and don’t have a plan to fight this virus," said Press Secretary Tiffany Brown. "Right now, she is focused on saving lives.”

Here’s a look at some of what’s changing for three weeks beginning Wednesday:

  • All in-person high school and college classes will be suspended. Younger students can continue meeting in person if their local school districts choose.
  • Movie theaters, bowling centers, ice rinks, bingo halls, casinos will be closed entirely.
  • Restaurants will not be able to offer dine-in service, but they can continue drive-through and carryout service.
  • Group fitness classes and non-professional organized sports must pause.
  • Everyone who can work from home should do so.

The order announced Sunday night is not a complete economic shutdown like Whitmer’s orders in March and April. Outdoor gatherings of 25 or fewer people are allowed while retail stores and salons can remain open subject to Michigan’s face mask order.

Work that can’t be performed at home, including manufacturing and construction, is allowed to continue.

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