Hillsdale College Attorney: Federal Lawsuits Getting Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to Ease Lockdown Orders

FILE - In this Feb. 12, 2019 file photo, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delivers her State of the State address to a joint session of the House and Senate at the state Capitol in Lansing, Mich. Whitmer's proposal to significantly increase fuel taxes to fix the roads is paired with …
Al Goldis/AP Photo

Robert Norton, who is general counsel to Hillsdale College, appeared in his personal capacity on Wednesday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily to discuss Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s numerous lockdown orders imposed on Michiganders.

He told host Alex Marlow Whitmer’s executive orders “are very inconsistent. They’re vague. They seem to open huge loopholes but then are maybe closing tiny loopholes.”

Norton argued that Whitmer said she was using “science” to dictate her actions, “but when people asked to see the data points, exactly what are you looking at, can we have some discussion about this? Complete silence,” he said.

He opined in the Detroit News about Beemer vs. Whitmer, a suit filed in federal court over the governor’s “highly politicized and arbitrary prohibitions on specific sectors of Michigan’s economy.”

As part of the lawsuit, plaintiff counsel Robert Muise requested a temporary restraining order ahead of the trial hearing, one that would force Whitmer to halt execution of her executive order in advance of a court decision. That stipulated order, otherwise known as a preliminary injunction, has now been signed by Judge Maloney, who is presiding over the case. Whitmer may have relaxed her restrictions, but the political pressure from federal court seems to have forced her hand into doing so.

Norton told BND Whitmer “went down almost a checklist of the things that had been in the federal lawsuit” and eased them.

“‘I told you all I would give you some reprieve, here’s your reprieve,'” Norton said, mimicking Whitmer.

“She does appear to respond to the federal lawsuits,” he said.

“It’s unfortunate that she’s refusing to work with our legislature,” he added. “But she does appear to pay attention if you sue her in federal court.”

Three churches filed suit on Wednesday seeking to have the stay-at-home order lifted so worshipers can again attend services.

The plaintiffs argue:

Just because a governor has ink in her pen does not mean the Constitution authorizes her to use it, notwithstanding good intentions. The Constitution does not become irrelevant during any emergency, including a pandemic. Instead of every citizen being subject to the rule of law, they have become subjects of Defendant’s daily edicts. (page 22 of brief).

Nothing in the U.S. Constitution authorizes a state governor to suspend constitutional representative governance by declaring new emergencies every 28 days into perpetuity. Allowing one person to wield absolute power is not a republican form of government, it is tyranny. (p. 20).

“Churches are essential to the health and well-being of everyone. If Walmart and Home Depot can open and sell goods to customers while following CDC guidelines, surely churches can do the same,” said David A. Kallman, Senior Counsel with the Great Lakes Justice Center, the group representing the churches.

Breitbart News Daily broadcasts live on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern

Kyle Olson is a reporter for Breitbart News. He is also the host of “The Kyle Olson Show,” found on Michigan radio stations on Saturdays. Follow him on Twitter and like him on Facebook.

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