Teetering on Michigan’s Supreme Court’s ruling that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer lacks the authority to declare a state of emergency concerning the COVID-19 pandemic is today’s arrest of 13 men charged with plotting and conspiring with a Michigan militia group to kidnap Whitmer.
According to Federal agents, the planned attack included comprehensive plans to overthrow several state governments that the arrested suspects believe were defiling the US Constitution. One of those states is Michigan, which is under Whitmer’s governance.
So far, six of the men were federally charged with conspiracy to kidnap. Seven others associated with the militia group “Wolverine Watchmen,” were charged by the state, according to Michigan’s Attorney General, Dana Nessel.
According to reports obtained from the United States Department of Justice, a complaint was filed on Tuesday. Reports show that the individuals by the names Adam Fox, Barry Croft, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, and Brandon Caserta conspired to kidnap Whitmer from her vacation home which is located in the Western District of Michigan. Per federal law, each of the individuals faces any term of years up to life in prison if convicted of the crime. Fox, Garbin, Franks, Harris, and Caserta are all residents of Michigan while Croft is a resident of Delaware.
It is unclear whether or not their motives was in direct retaliation to Whitmer’s executive orders concerning the pandemic, but the story is still developing.
Early in March, Whitmer, a Democrat, extended a state of emergency along with other safety measures in the state of Michigan in efforts to contain the novel coronavirus and has since been the subject of ridicule among right-wing voters.
In Oakland county, Richard Beaubien, a resident of Troy, Michigan, said that the governor was “out of bounds” in extending stay-at-home orders to Michigan residents.
“She’s supposed to talk to the legislature before she executes some orders, and she is still reluctant to do that,” said Beaubien.
The Michigan Supreme Court ruled in a split 4-3 finding that Whitmer lacked COVID-19 emergency powers to extend the executive order that she mandated Michiganders without consent from the legislature.
The court’s decision placed a significant question mark on the previous orders that Whitmer had executed in. relation to the pandemic, appearing to blank them out. At the same time, it wasn’t immediately clear what would happen next or when the supreme court’s decision would go into effect.
In response to the Michigan Supreme Court, Whitmer’s office issued a statement publicly denouncing the ruling and seeking an additional 28-day grace period to transition into the new regulations.
She described the court’s ruling as “deeply disappointing” and stressed that she disagreed with it.
“Today’s Supreme Court ruling, handed down by a narrow majority of Republican justices, is deeply disappointing, and I vehemently disagree with the court’s interpretation of the Michigan Constitution,” said Whitmer. “Right now, every state and the federal government has some form of declared emergency. With this decision, Michigan will become the sole outlier at a time when the Upper Peninsula is experiencing rates of COVID infection not seen in our state since April.”
The statement ended with Whitmer promising Michiganders that she would not relent in her efforts to keep them safe from the deadly virus. Many Twitter users, including President Donald Trump, took to Twitter to express their thoughts on the news.
Trump, who was recently diagnosed with COVID-19 himself, praised the supreme court’s ruling and called the verdict a “BIG WIN” for Michiganders in his tweet.
His tweets were made even though Michigan went from being one of the top three coronavirus hotspots in the nation to flattening the curve under Whitmer’s executive orders. Real-time data currently shows that the current death rates and cases have skyrocketed in Michigan ever since.
On March 23, when Whitmer first set her Stay Home, Stay Safe mandate in motion, thousands of Michiganders grew weary of the orders. Complaints ranged from individuals needing haircuts to barbers and salon owners defying orders to stay open.
Beaubien said that a haircut was one necessity that the orders deprived him.
“My hair got really long. I was trying to debate what color of ribbon to put on. I finally got a hair cut in mid-April after about three months,” said Beaubien.
Susan Maccoy, a hair stylist, author, and certified COVID-19 protocols expert for hair salons, said that Whitmer did the right thing.
“You can’t fix stupid,” said Maccoy of naysayers. “She was protecting the people when they wouldn’t protect themselves.”
Maccoy, who is also a salon and beauty expert, said that during the unprecedented COVID-19 times, it is imperative to have all of the protocols in place to protect the salon owners, as well as hairdressers and customers.
” Ninety percent of the cases that I opine on focus on people who didn’t follow the rules and ultimately bore the consequences,” said Maccoy.