A Michigan court refused to block Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s shelter-in-place orders in a lawsuit demanding that businesses reopen despite the continued threat of the coronavirus.
The case filed by business owner Steve Martinko and four other Michigan residents argues that the governor’s orders infringe on their constitutional rights. Judge Christopher M. Murray of the state Court of Claims disagreed, Michigan Live reports.
“Although the Court is painfully aware of the difficulties of living under the restrictions of these executive orders, those difficulties are temporary, while to those who contract the virus and cannot recover (and to their family members and friends), it is all too permanent,” Murray ruled in Wednesday’s order denying a preliminary injunction.
Michigan is one of several states in recent weeks where protesters gathered in large clusters to call for businesses to reopen, even as governors and health officials have repeatedly warned to stay home when possible and practice social distancing to slow the spread of the virus.
Despite the prominent coverage anti-lockdown protesters have gotten in recent weeks, the overwhelming majority of Americans of both parties support state stay-at-home orders, according to a HuffPost/YouGov poll from last week.
Hundreds flocked to Michigan’s Capitol on Thursday morning to protest Whitmer’s request to extend a statewide state of emergency. Some who attended were without masks and did not practice social distancing, WXYZ reported.
Later that afternoon, men armed with guns flooded the capitol building. State Sen. Dayna Polehanki tweeted a photo of the incident, saying she was grateful to have the Sergeant-at-Arms present as men holding rifles yelled at her.
More than 3,000 people in the state have died from the virus, with more than 60,000 dead across the U.S.
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