Some on the right have apparently had enough of the basic public health precautions currently in place around the country to help stem the spread of the Coronavirus. This week, at least two lawsuits have been filed against Michigan’s Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who is one of the governors behind a slew of stay-at-home orders instituted in the vast majority of U.S. states but has been repeatedly singled out for conservative outrage. The lawsuits hinge on a slew of outlandish arguments alleging that she infringed the rights of people in her state via ordering that they stay home. What, do they think that there’s some Constitutionally-guaranteed “right” to die from a preventable viral infection?
One of the lawsuits against Whitmer, filed on Tuesday, features four Michigan residents as plaintiffs, including one who owns a landscaping company that’s been forced to shut down amidst the pandemic. The group’s attorney David Helm is arguing that his clients’ rights under the Constitution’s Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments in particular have supposedly been violated. Those amendments protect rights to due process.
Helm told a local media outlet:
‘We believe what the governor has done with her orders is over-broad and overreaching. Taking a sledgehammer to an ant… [Shutting down businesses] amounts to a taking by the government of private property, which is authorized under the Constitution but when done so, they need to be justly compensated for it… They might have been compensated some, but it’s not fair market value… If you’re going to impede on these fundamental rights, then the government needs to tailor their approach.’
There have already been financial relief programs implemented to assist businesses like the one owned by Helm’s client. In line with recent federal legislation, hundreds of dollars a week have been added to unemployment benefits around the country, and direct payments of $1,200 per person have even been issued. There’s also been a loan program instituted to help keep workers on the payroll called the Paycheck Protection Program, whose loans are seemingly forgivable if the assisted small business successfully keeps its workers on the payroll — although the money designated for that fund ran out this week.
Besides the landscape company owner, Helm’s clients also include someone who claims they’ve been “unable to visit their long-time girlfriend because they don’t live together” and a couple who claims that they’re unable to return to their main home because they were at a vacation home when the stay-at-home order went into effect, local media outlet ABC 7 explains.
On Wednesday, two lawyers and the owner of another landscaping business in the state filed another lawsuit against Whitmer, outrageously claiming that they “reasonably fear that the draconian encroachments on their freedom set forth in this complaint will, unfortunately, become the ‘new norm.'” In fact, basic, science-grounded public health measures intended to protect the lives of vulnerable people are not some kind of conspiracy against freedom — but they seem set in their conviction otherwise.
An ambulance in Lansing, #MI is unable to get thru because of a protest in response to Gov. Whitmer's executive orders.
— Shelby ☘️🌊#RegisterToVote🌊☘️ (@ShelbyRatifyERA) April 15, 2020
The belligerence mirrors a protest that unfolded in Michigan this week, where some protesters, angry about simply being asked to stay home, even temporarily blocked an ambulance entrance.
Opponents of Michigan's social distancing measures blocked a hospital entrance in protest.
"The cars were blocking one of our hospitals, so an ambulance literally wasn't able to get into the bay for ten minutes," said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. https://t.co/CkdVU5lXi3
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 16, 2020