A Michigan petition to repeal Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) abusive COVID-19 overreach has reached enough signatures to be heard before the state’s legislature. Unlock Michigan, the conservative group behind the effort, was required to collect more than 340,000 valid signatures for certification by the Michigan Bureau of Elections.
A Michigan Secretary of State office report filed Apr. 19 validated the group’s 460,358 signatures out of more than 538,000 received. The report was required for the petition to be heard before the Michigan Board of State Canvassers on Apr. 22.
Whitmer has enacted more than 120 executive orders since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. If successful, the petition could lead to a repeal of the state’s 1945 act that authorizes the state’s executive powers used by Whitmer. Another option would be for the legislature to add the concern to the 2022 Michigan ballot.
The movement faces opposition by a group called Keep Michigan Safe that support the governor’s pandemic restrictions. The group filed a legal case earlier this month to challenge the group’s signatures.
The governor, realizing that Michigan residents have had enough of her totalitarian lockdowns, promised she wouldn’t add additional draconian lockdown measures following recent COVID-19 spikes. Instead, Whitmer asked school districts, private companies and residents to take up where she left off and enact more social distancing measures and travel restrictions until the number of cases recedes. Luckily, for residents, that hasn’t happened so far.
In an interesting turn of events, 10 days after Unlock Michigan turned in its signatures, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled against the ability of the governor to extend executive powers under the 1945 Emergency Powers of Governor Act. The decision ended Whitmer’s current orders, though some public health orders remain in effect, according to MLive.com.
Ron Armstrong, a spokesperson for Unlock Michigan, stated in the milestone Facebook video that, “We’re going to push them in this next 60 days. We know there’s an election coming up, we know that they can certainly use that as a reason not to be looking at signatures right now, there’s a lot happening, but we believe in November, this has no reason not to get validated with the huge number beyond what we needed.”
The Republican led state legislature will offer an interesting look at the contrast between conservative leaders versus a progressive governor. Whitmer knows she must navigate the controversy carefully, mindful of reelection looming in 2022.
The movement to Unlock Michigan may also hold another important place in American politics. With Whitmer’s controversial overreach, the state’s conservative leaders have dreams of flipping Michigan back to conservative leadership for governor in the upcoming midterms.
Two Republican candidates have already declared they will run in 2022. Austin Chenge, a businessman and Army veteran, as well as Allendale Township Planning Commission member Ryan Kelley. Several conservative contenders remain undecided. Among them are State Senator Tom Barrett, as well as Jack Berman, Congressman for the state’s 1st District.
Though much work remains, one thing is certain: Government overreach has not ended well in Michigan. Americans still love their liberty, and they’re not willing to give it up without a fight.