Opponents of Michigan Governor’s ‘Excessive’ Stay-at-Home Order Push for Recall Election
Do you think Gov. Whitmer’s order is excessive? Should she be recalled?
by Countable | 4.24.20
UPDATE - 4/24/20: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) has eased several provisions of her stay-at-home order that sparked controversy and protests, as she extended the order through May 15th:
- Outdoor activities such as golf and motorized boating may resume.
- Landscapers, lawn-servicing companies, plant nurseries, and bike repair shops can resume operating subject to social distancing guidelines.
- Big-box retailers will no longer have to close off garden centers and areas dedicated to selling paint and carpet.
- Residents are allowed to travel between residences, although it isn’t encouraged.
Countable's original article appears below.
What’s the story?
- Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) is facing a severe backlash and a push for an election to recall her from office in response to what critics view as an overly broad “stay-at-home” order that runs through the end of the month.
- More than 300,000 of Whitmer’s detractors have joined a Facebook group entitled “Michiganders Against Excessive Quarantine” and over 231,000 people have signed a petition to recall her from office. One critic who is organizing a protest said:
"We're responsible adults and can be trusted to go out in public."
- Under Michigan law, if a formal recall petition gains 1,100,063 signatures (25% of turnout in the last gubernatorial election) Whitmer will face-off against a challenger for the right to serve the remainder of her term in the next general election held at least 95 days after the petition is filed. Michiganders made unsuccessful attempts to recall former Govs. Jennifer Granholm (D) in 2010 and Rick Snyder (R) in 2011 & 2012.
- Whitmer, who has recently been speculated as a potential vice presidential pick for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, urged critics to think of people who’ve lost loved ones to coronavirus:
“While some of us are grieving the loss of our freedom, they’re grieving the loss of their loved ones."
What does Whitmer’s executive order do?
- In general, the executive order requires Michiganders to “suspend activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life.”
- Michiganders must remain in their residences to the maximum extent possible except to perform in-person work that meets those requirements, or engage in socially distant outdoor exercise.
- All public and private gatherings of any number of persons who aren’t part of a single household are prohibited.
- Violators of the executive order could be charged with a misdemeanor and fined.
Confusion over how to implement Whitmer's order led at least one Walmart location to restrict parts of the store where car seats were purchased. The company later released the following statement to ABC News' Detroit affiliate:
"Michigan customers are able to purchase baby car seats, baby furniture and other infant products at their local Walmart. We are reiterating this direction with store management to ensure consistent service to our customers across our Michigan stores. Customers are also welcome to purchase these items from the convenience of their home through Walmart.com."
To clear up confusion about the order, Whitmer’s office posted an FAQ clarifying whether conduct is permissible or prohibited, including the following rulings:
- Protests are allowed, but protesters must maintain at least six feet of social distancing from people who aren’t part of their household.
- Travel to in-state vacation residences by Michiganders is prohibited.
- The use of sailboats & kayaks is permitted, but the use of motor boats & jet skis is prohibited.
- The order limits how goods are sold, so American flags are available for purchase, but not necessarily in-person.
- Access to areas of large stores (like Walmart or Costco) “dedicated to carpeting, flooring, furniture, garden centers, plant nurseries, or paint” is prohibited.
While Michiganders may not be able to pick up seeds to plant in their home garden at the store, they can pick up several items that some may consider “non-essential” but happen to generate revenue for the state through taxation and other means, including:
- Marijuana (subject to a 10% excise tax in addition to the general 6% sales tax);
- Liquor and other alcoholic beverages; and
- Lottery tickets.
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: austin_slack via Flickr / Creative Commons)
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