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Rep. Mitchell sues Whitmer over COVID-19 response

Coronavirus

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has already had a number of lawsuits filed against her stemming from some of the actions and executive orders surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak in Michigan.

Some of the litigation against the governor has been dropped. Courts have ruled against at least one lawsuit and others are pending.

The latest is a federal lawsuit brought by U.S. Rep. Paul Mitchell on Monday. He represents Michigan’s 10th Congressional District in the Thumb region.

The Republican says he is suing as a private citizen, not a congressman, and believes the governor’s stay-at-home order violates Article 4 Section 4 and the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Article 4 Section 4 says, in part, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government.”

The 14th Amendment says, in part, “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

Mitchell says the governor is acting without the input of other elected officials like the legislature.

“Her actions are replacing the state court system and the state legislature and putting all those powers in one person to make a decision. She’s described her powers as literally, as recently as yesterday, as a dial that she can ratchet up or ratchet back depending on her assessment of the issues in place. The Emergency Powers Act, in my opinion, was not intended to do that. It was intended to provide an ability to intervene in an emergency, address the emergency and then move on.  We’re going to be dealing with the COVID-19 virus for an extended period of time. I do not believe we should have emergency powers for an extended period of time without the engagement of other elected leaders in that process. It is not intended to be a one person show,” he said.

Mitchell says he thinks the 1945 Emergency Powers Act should be invalidated. It remains to be seen if the courts will agree.

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