The Michigan House of Representatives on Thursday voted against extending Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s state of emergency for another 28 days, voting instead to file a lawsuit against her.
Whitmer’s initial state of emergency order, which is different than her stay-at-home order, expires on Thursday.
Speaker Lee Chatfield was authorized to sue the governor, saying Whitmer’s “unchecked and undemocratic approach” is a poor strategy, according to ABC12.
“The current status quo relies on one-size-fits-all edicts that unfairly punish millions of people across the state without giving them any recourse or voice in the process,” Chatfield remarked to the station. “The people deserve a better solution, and we can provide it.”
Meanwhile, the state House passed a resolution that would limit her state of emergency declarations to 14 days.
It comes as protesters gathered outside the state Capitol in Lansing.
“This is the people’s house, you cannot lock us out,” one person said.
“We want Michigan open, we want Michigan back to work,” Jason Howland, one of the protest organizers, told Fox 17. “We put the event together, we put it on Facebook, and we heard that they were taking down events that had to do with protests or rallies against the wishes of Whitmer,” he said.
“Governor Whitmer, and our state legislature, it’s over with. Open this state,” Mike Detmer, a Republican U.S. congressional candidate running for the state’s 8th District spot held by Democrat Elissa Slotkin, told the crowd. “Let’s get businesses back open again. Let’s make sure there are jobs to go back to.”
State Sen. Dayna Polehanki, a Democrat, wrote that “men with rifles” were in the Senate gallery, “yelling at us.”
Directly above me, men with rifles yelling at us. Some of my colleagues who own bullet proof vests are wearing them. I have never appreciated our Sergeants-at-Arms more than today. #mileg pic.twitter.com/voOZpPYWOs
— Senator Dayna Polehanki (@SenPolehanki) April 30, 2020
Whitmer, a Democrat, has faced severe backlash for her stay-at-home order, one of the strictest in the nation, which was extended until May 15. It includes not allowing people to travel to other homes under most conditions and bars the sale of items deemed nonessential at many stores.
The order was designed to curb the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, a novel coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19. Michigan is one of the hardest-hit states, with more than 40,000 reported cases.
Reuters contributed to this report.