Earlier today, we reported about Michigan State Rep. Karen Whitsett (D-Detroit), who’s filed a lawsuit against Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer and fellow Democrats for violating her free speech rights and for defamation. Whitsett was censured by Democrat leaders in her district and received a nasty text message from Governor Whitmer for publicly praising President Trump and his suggestion that hydroxychloroquine could be a life-saving drug for COVID19 patients.
In addition to the lawsuit against Whitmer by Rep. Whitsett, another lawsuit was filed against the VP wannabe, Gretchen Whitmer, last week, this time, on behalf of over 900 construction companies and a landscaping company in Grand Rapids, MI.
The Mackinaw Center Legal Foundation filed a lawsuit against Michigan’s overreaching Democrat governor on behalf of a group of builders and contractors in Michigan over what they say are “unconstitutional” rules outlined in her latest executive order, that they say exceeds her authority.
Detroit Free Press – The lawsuit argues that these businesses are now subject to potentially enormous fines if they violate the orders, even though the state Legislature never authorized those fines under laws giving the governor authority to respond to emergencies or approved through the state’s regulatory process.
The lawsuit was filed Thursday in the state Court of Claims on behalf of the Associated Builders and Contractors on Michigan (ABC), which represents some 900 builders, and a private landscaping company in Grand Rapids. The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation in Midland, which takes on cases of what it considers government overreach, also is involved in the lawsuit.
ABC State Director Jeff Wiggins said Whitmer’s rule “threatens the safe jobs of Michigan workers” and that his organization and their members “deserve to have a voice in the rules process.”
“Instead, they are threatened by the arbitrary, unclear, and unconstitutional enforcement methods set to be dispatched throughout the state to intimidate good, honest workers,” he said.
Under recent orders issued by Whitmer, construction work and landscaping are allowed in Michigan, while many other businesses are closed or severely restricted. But they are required to take steps to protect workers, such as taking employees’ temperatures, creating dedicated entries to work sites, requiring gloves, limiting the sharing of tools, and more as a way to stop the spread of the virus, also known as COVID-19.
But while state law makes the violation of a governor’s emergency order a misdemeanor — potentially punishable by a $500 fine and 90 days in jail — in her orders, including one issued as recently as Thursday, she said violation of the work rules could be considered a violation of Michigan Occupational Safety and Health regulations.
Those are potentially punishable by fines of up to $70,000 a day for a company in willful violation.
“Not only is the governor increasing penalties without legislative approval, she is also transferring enforcement power from local elected officials, such as sheriffs and prosecutors, to unelected bureaucrats under her control,” the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation said in a news release.
What do you think? Has Gov. Whitmer exceeded her power with her latest executive order? Should the Michigan legislature have a role in determining if standard fines should be altered to punish workplace offenders for breaking rules laid out in the governor’s executive orders? How many more times will Michigan’s Democrat governor push the limits of her authority with Michigan citizens before they recall her?