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In a public statement on Monday, Michigan House Representative Matt Maddock called for the impeachment of Governor Gretchen Whitmer after she announced sweeping new stay-at-home orders, once again locking down the state of Michigan.
Whitmer's orders, which go into effect at 12:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning, closely resemble lockdowns set in place at the outset of the pandemic; her restrictions would prohibit citizens from leaving their homes except for emergency services for a 21-day period.
Although there are some exceptions to the governor's announcement, the order largely forbids businesses from requiring employees to come to work unless absolutely necessary. Michigan schools will also fall under the category of non-essential businesses. That being said, allowances to continue operating apply to health care workers, law enforcement, and grocery store employees.
Whitmer sees her order as a critical response to spiking numbers of COVID-19, following a spike of cases since Sunday.
"This is the only tool we have to fight it at the moment and support our health care system to respond is to give them the opportunity to respond," said Whitmer. "The disease can't spread person-to-person if we're not out there."
But for Maddock and other GOP representatives, her stay-at-home orders have crossed a line.
In a post made to Facebook, Maddock informed the public that he and a growing number of litigators viewed her actions acts as rash and not in the best interests of the state. Among the grievances listed, Maddock claimed that Whitmer had ignored court orders, violated constitutional rights, and ignored the state's rules of due process.
These, per Maddock, are grounds for impeachment. As of yet, no formal charge or hearing has been made against the governor.
Whitmer's orders will almost certainly pose a roadblock on Michigan’s path to economic recovery. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the past five months, Michigan had cut its unemployment rate down to 8.5 percent—a dramatic improvement from the 24 percent seen in April of this year. Whitmer's lockdown, aimed at slowing the spread of the virus, might come at the price of these recent improvements.
Whitmer doesn't seem to think she has anything to worry about.
In a release made by Tiffany Brown, Whitmer's press secretary, the governor's office said it wouldn't concern itself with Maddock's call of her impeachment.
"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," Brown said.
"Right now, she is focused on saving lives. The governor will continue to work hard for all 10 million Michiganders. This is about Michigan vs. COVID-19. Governor Whitmer doesn't care if you're a Trump Republican or a Biden Democrat. We are all in this together."