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After Michigan Supreme Court ruling on COVID 19 policies, legislators, who are bought and paid for, will decide out fate

October 5, 2020

 

Last Friday, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Whitmer had over-stepped her authority during the COVID 19 crisis. 

In a recent article in Bridge Michigan:

Sen. Shirkey told Bridge he expects a federal court could act on the decision and begin to invalidate Whitmer executive orders as soon as next week. The governor has claimed that cannot happen for at least 21 days under Supreme Court rules. 

What this will mean is that the Michigan Legislature will now likely decide on how to deal with the COVID 19 crisis, which should concern anyone who cares about health and well being of people living in Michigan. This is especially the case when it comes to the Senate Majority leader Mike Shirkey and House leader Lee Chatfield. Both of these legislators initiated law suits against Gov. Whitmer in early May.

In April, Shirkey and Chatfield had already been complaining about Gov. Whitmer’s stance on COVID 19. Shirkey was quoted as saying:

We believe business owners will act responsibly and take care within their establishments to clean and disinfect their equipment, protect their workers and customers, and meet strict health and safety standards. We believe parents will protect their children, clergy will make worship services safe for their congregants, and neighbors will look out for their communities.

The data on how many people have died so far and how many have contracted the virus, seems to contradict Shirkey’s comments above. 

Then, during the anti-lockdown protests in Lansing, it became clear that the groups involved in organizing those protests were in direct communication with Sen. Mike Shirkey, by their own admission. This is what we wrote on May 12th:

The fact that the anti-lockdown protestors we working in tandem with Sen. Mike Shirkey is confirmed in one of their blog posts, where it states: 

“The irony is that the American Patriot Rally was organized with one thing in mind: to encourage the senate to vote no on extending Whitmer’s emergency declaration, which they did. It was a victory. If Sean had taken the time to be a journalist, he’d have known that we got exactly what we came for,” Kelley said.

These comments came from Ryan Kelley, who is with the American Patriot Council. Kelley has also been one of the primary spokespersons defending the Civil War statue in Allendale, Michigan. A week after Kelley confirmed he had been in contact with Sen. Shirkey during the anti-lockdown protests in Lansing, he invited Shirkey to speak at an anti-lockdown protest in Grand Rapids on May 18

The business community has consistently been behind Shirkey and Chatfield on their COVID 19 position. The Michigan Chamber of Commerce has endorsed allowing businesses to re-open, even pushing this message in April. The West Michigan Policy Forum has also supported this position of profits over people, when they stated in April:

https://griid.org/2020/04/20/michigan-chamber-of-commerce-mackinac-center-for-public-policy-west-mi-policy-forum-think-75-of-businesses-could-re-open-now-throughout-the-state/

The principles offered by Senator Mike Shirkey today smartly allows for a regional and phased approach to safely reopening businesses and protecting employees as they go back to work. We must reject the false choice between work and safety, so these outlined principles rightly empower workers, protect customers and increase economic security. We applaud Senator Shirkey’s welcoming approach to further input by medical experts. We urge the governor, lawmakers and business leaders to further refine the appropriate and sensible proposal by Senator Shirkey to coalesce around one plan to protect both lives and livelihoods and provide a safe pathway to restart our economy. 

The endorsement of the West Michigan Policy Forum should not surprise us, especially considering that two of their members, DeVos and Kennedy, have pretty much bankrolled both Sen. Shirkey and Rep. Chatfield, as we noted back in May.

The GOP controlled State Legislature now has the ability to implement opening more and more of Michigan businesses, which will likely lead to more and more people contracting the COVID 19 virus. Profits over people is not just an ideological reference, rather it will become more and more of a reality if the likes of Sen. Shirkey and Rep. Chatfield have their way. 

(graphic by Brett Colley)

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