For some Michigan sheriffs, Gov. Whitmer’s coronavirus orders are optional

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel are running into resistance from a small but growing number of county sheriff’s who say they will not enforce the governor’s executive orders relating to the coronavirus because, in their minds, the orders violate the constitution.  (Shutterstock photo)

At a Grand Rapids rally this week, Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf took to the stage to render his view of Gov. Whitmer’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Republican sheriff from a county just to the south of Grand Rapids likened the governor’s emergency stay-at-home order to mass arrest.

“What’s the definition of an arrest? It’s basically taking away your free will, your right to move about,” Leaf said.

“And an unlawful arrest is when you do it unlawfully, so when you are ordered to your home, are you under arrest? Yeah, by definition you are.”

He was cheered on by about 300 people, some bearing rifles and others with signs that read “Freedom not tyranny” and “Speak out against plandemic.”

The rally took place in Rosa Parks Circle. Leaf drew a comparison between the civil rights icon and Owosso barber Karl Manke, who opened his shop in defiance of Whitmer’s executive order closing barber shops and other businesses to reduce the spread of the virus.

Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf: “And an unlawful arrest is when you do it unlawfully, so when you are ordered to your home, are you under arrest?” (Courtesy photo

Leaf called Manke “a little version of Rosa Parks.”

Michigan’s 83 county sheriffs are part of a law enforcement system sworn to uphold the laws of their community and the state.

But Leaf and a growing chorus of sheriffs – some linked to a controversial, right-wing national movement that asserts a sheriff’s unique authority ­— are testing the limits of Whitmer’s executive orders. The “constitutional sheriff” movement essentially holds that sheriffs — not the governor, nor the federal government — are the final word on interpreting the constitution within their county.    

It remains an open question what Whitmer or Attorney General Dana Nessel can, or ever will, do about it.

Constitutional law expert Devin Schindler said, in theory, Whitmer could file a lawsuit to try and force sheriffs to enforce provisions of her executive orders related to COVID-19.

But Schindler, a professor at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, said that could be a controversial political move, one that the governor is unlikely to make for practical reasons at this time.

“She doesn’t want to pick this fight,” he said.

Schindler said the conflict could become moot as Whitmer relaxes personal and economic restrictions across more of the state, including recent decisions to open, with safeguards, restaurants, bars and retail outlets in the Upper Peninsula and parts of the northern Lower Peninsula, as well as opening of car dealerships and allowing non-essential medical procedures.

On May 15, Attorney General Dana Nessel warned that resistant sheriffs are setting a perilous precedent for law enforcement.

“It’s a slippery slope when you have law enforcement officials who arbitrarily choose the laws they will and will not enforce,” Nessel said.

But she said she had no plans to seek action against the sheriffs.

“You hold them accountable at the ballot box,” Nessel said.

Still, Nessel press secretary Ryan Jarvi told Bridge in a statement that Nessel expects Whitmer’s executive orders to be followed. 

“We would remind law enforcement agencies throughout the state that a successful response to COVID-19 requires cooperation at all levels. Until a court decision notes otherwise, the Governor’s executive orders are presumptively valid and should be followed and enforced.”

For now, that seems like wishful thinking by the attorney general

Matthew Saxton, executive director of the Michigan Sheriffs Association, said the organization takes no position on how individual sheriffs deal with Whitmer’s executive orders.

“Each of 83 sheriffs are independently elected to serve the citizens from their county. So far, each of the 83 are doing a good job serving their citizens during the pandemic,” he said.

In the meantime, Whitmer continues to face legal challenges to her executive authority during the COVID-19 crisis.

On Thursday, the Michigan Court of Claims gave her a win, ruling that Whitmer had the right to extend the state's stay-at-home order and extend the state of emergency, rejecting a lawsuit filed by Republican lawmakers who challenged her emergency powers in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Republicans said they would appeal.

In addition to Leaf, at least six other sheriffs, most of them Republican, pushed back on Whitmer’s executive order authority, saying they won’t enforce parts or all of her mandates. Their rationales range from questioning their constitutionality to the practical difficulties of asking deputies to enforce minor civil infractions, such as admonitions to remain socially distant.

That’s in stark contrast to the Detroit Police Department, which cracked down hard as the city became a national COVID-19 hotspot earlier this spring. In April, the department said it had issued 736 citations, shut down 24 parties and closed 27 businesses found to be in violation of Whitmer’s executive orders.

The list of resistant sheriffs includes four in the northern Lower Peninsula, who issued a letter in April saying Whitmer is “overstepping her executive authority” while pledging to selectively enforce executive orders.

The group includes Republican sheriffs Mike Borkovich of Leelanau County, Ted Schendel of Benzie County, Kim Cole of Mason County as well as Democratic sheriff Ken Falk of Manistee County.

“Each of us took an oath to uphold and defend the Michigan Constitution, as well as the U.S. Constitution, and to ensure that your God given rights are not violated. We believe that we are the last line of defense in protecting your civil liberties,” the letter stated.

That letter has echoes of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Police Officers Association (CSPOA), the loosely knit network of law enforcement officers that views sheriffs as a firewall against government overreach. It was founded by former Arizona sheriff Richard Mack, who as sheriff challenged in court provisions of the Brady Bill. That resulted in a 1997 Supreme Court decision that ruled that provisions of that gun control measure were unconstitutional.

Benzie County Sheriff Ted Schendel: “I don’t work for the governor. I work for the people in my community.” (Courtesy photo)

On its website, the CSPOA traces the authority of the sheriff to ninth century England, while stating: “The vertical separation of powers in the Constitution makes it clear that the power of the sheriff even supersedes the powers of the President.” 

But others see links to more recent movements such as Posse Comitatus, the far-right populist movement, which in turn influenced militia groups that began to spring up in the 1990s. CSPOA has, for instance, strongly backed individual sheriffs who refuse to enforce state gun laws that they contend violate the Second Amendment. 

According to its website, a sheriff has ”Constitutional authority to check and balance all levels of government within the jurisdiction of the County.”

Its adherents have included former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was ordered by federal court to cease immigration roundups and was then found guilty of criminal contempt for violating that order, before he was pardoned by President Trump in 2017; and David Clarke, the former sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. 

Law professor Schindler rejected the organization’s premise that sheriffs have sovereign power superseding other branches of government.

“That’s a ticket to anarchy.That’s the whole point of having a law, they are supposed to enforce it.”

Leaf said he counts himself a member of the CSPOA, which by one estimate has enlisted support from more than 500 sheriffs since 2013.

He told Bridge Magazine the policy of his department is to issue no civil citations for violations of Whitmer’s executive orders, which carry fines of up to $1,000.

“We ask our guys to use common sense and offer discretion. If we know a law is unconstitutional, we don’t have to enforce it,” he said.

Asked how deputies would respond if there were a report of hundreds of people gathered close together – a violation of Whitmer’s order mandating no group gatherings larger than 10 – Leaf said they would offer advice instead of enforcement.

“You can’t quarantine the constitution. We do have freedom of assembly,” he said.

Benzie County Sheriff Schendel told Bridge he, too, belongs to the CSPOA.

Schendel recalled a phone call he got in the early days of Whitmer’s executive orders limiting business activity. A woman informed him there was a man out in his yard raking leaves, which the caller took as a violation Whitmer’s order banning lawn and landscape services.

“I said I’m not going to go to a man on his private property and arrest him. I don’t work for the governor. I work for the people in my community,” he said.

“The sheriff does have the authority to stand in front of the governor and say, hold on, let’s make sure that constitutional process is being followed.”

 Kent County Sheriff Michelle Lajoye-Young: “The sheriff does not have the authority to decide if a law is constitutional or not.” (Courtesy photo)

Southeast Michigan sheriffs are also resisting enforcement of Whitmer’s executive orders.

In Livingston County, Sheriff Mike Murphy earlier this month said his office has “basically decided to not do any enforcement” of the stay-at-home order, even as a local gym opened in defiance of Whitmer’s orders.

And Shiawassee County Sheriff Brian BeGole on May 11 said his sheriff's office "cannot and will not divert our primary resources and efforts toward enforcement of Governor Whitmer's executive orders.”

Republican Kent County Sheriff Michelle Lajoye-Young chose not to attend the Grand Rapids rally where Barry County Sheriff Leaf spoke of mass arrest. She said she holds a different view of the sheriff’s place in law enforcement.

“I don’t believe a law enforcement officer has a place advocating against a law at a rally,” she told Bridge.

Lajoye-Young said she does not belong to the CSPOA, while seeming to reject its core assertions.

“The sheriff does not have the authority to decide if a law is constitutional or not. They don’t have authority to make law.

“Whether I agree with the law or don’t agree with the law, my obligation is to work within the legal structure.”

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Comments

Michelle Carlson
Sat, 05/23/2020 - 9:30am

The law officials are not “arbitrarily” enforcing certain laws. They are not enforcing laws that infringe upon our constitutional rights. It’s a “slippery slope” when elected officials overstep their authority and take away our rights as citizens of the USA.

Paul Malloy
Fri, 05/22/2020 - 7:03pm

Please remind your writer that assault rifles have fully automatic capability and are illegal in the United States. These protesters were NOT carrying assault rifles, rather semi-automatics which are completely legal. Other than bolt-action rifles, most shotguns, muskets and revolvers, almost every legal gun in the US is semi-automatic. Thanks.
Paul

middle of the mit
Sat, 05/23/2020 - 6:28pm

If they aren't "assault weapons" what do they use them for? You can't use those weapons in the field with those 30 round clips. There is no if. There is no but. It is in the State law for hunting.

And why, if I was to put a pic, if this posting allowed it, would you see no difference between those guns the protesters use, the Army uses or terrorists use? Including the body armor?

They are "inferior, faux if you will" assault rifles wielded by those who would use those weapons against you if you enforced a draft or anything they don't agree with.

Ask Revere. He will tell you.

Bridge, this is not a time to succumb to the frivolities of the far right wing. You have a duty.

Please! BE the outlet that MI needs right now.

suppresst
Sat, 05/23/2020 - 10:21pm

Do you think that people like me are afraid to assert that we want high capacity magazines as bulwark against tyranny? 2nd Amendment was passed to defend the right to hunt; it was to defend against tyranny. Your profess fear of tyranny by right-wingers with guns, while ignoring real tyranny you live under right now, under Whitmer.

Matt
Sun, 05/24/2020 - 9:26am

MoM, For someone claiming to be knowledgeable about firearms you are extremely ignorant. To help you, the magazine in the AR 15 AR 10 AK 47 etc. is independent of the firearm, they commonly come in capacities from 5 to 30 and sometimes more. For hunting you use the 5 round mag ,for target shooting or plinking you use what ever you want! Simply put all firearms with detachable magazines have this capability if some one wants to make one. Before you start going off in another dumb direction, remember, ALL firearms were in fact invented to kill people by militaries around the world of the centuries. The Brown Bess muzzle loading musket in the Revolutionary war was the "Assault" weapon of it's day!

middle of the mit
Sun, 05/24/2020 - 7:39pm

Matt and supprest, I am not trying to say I am knowledgeable about weapons......but I think I know more about weapons than conservatives do about viruses.

I also understand there are smaller and larger clips. But you can't use an AR-15 to kill a deer, well you could, but that is why you use larger weapons that have a lot of recoil. And you sure aren't hunting squirrels with them.

Simply put, I am not the one telling people that call them assault weapons they are hunting rifles and then telling everbody that says they are assault weapons that they are in fact assault weapons meant to defend their freeedumbs.

Thanks for admitting they are assault rifles meant to kill people though!

rougarou
Fri, 05/22/2020 - 8:24pm

It's total anarchy and anti-American when law enforcement tries to assert an authority to interpret laws and selectively enforce them based on ninth century feudalism in a Viking occupied country. And for what purpose? To avoid the fear of a confrontation? I can imagine folks with criminal records will be looking to move to those counties in the very near future.

There is no place for this mindset in a civilized society. Scares the heck out of me to think they may know even less about how to use their guns than their badges. Why do I see a mental picture of Barney Fife when I read this?

The real justice will be when these guys get called to testify in wrongful death lawsuits filed against their counties.

Sue
Sat, 05/23/2020 - 4:39pm

Yeah I'm sure they care what you think

Richard M
Fri, 05/22/2020 - 9:41pm

No one is required to enforce an unconstitutional law. The Constitution states that the right of assembly shall not be abridged.

Richard Mc
Fri, 05/22/2020 - 9:50pm

The sheriff has the authority to use his forces as he deems fit. The people of that county are his boss, not the governor.

HastingsHavis
Fri, 05/22/2020 - 10:27pm

All of the governor's underlings have more guts than brains... like the Governor herself. Even the judge said that she needed to involve the legislature to extend any EO past 28 days. And no judge is going to respect you rescinding one, and starting another to get around it either. As far as I'm concerned, the Guv'ner can kiss my grits. Neither the Governor or those she's associated with will hold office here again... you can BET on it.

Michael g Hegyan Jr
Sun, 05/24/2020 - 7:37am

She won't be back in office.. she'll be Biden's lackey..

Randy
Sat, 05/23/2020 - 4:03am

"some linked to a controversial, right-wing national movement"

I love how you are trying to tie the Sheriffs to nazis and racists. You failed in your great leap of logic. And you have the audacity to ask me to pay for this drivel? I'll be damned if I'll pay for such yellow journalism.

Diana
Sat, 05/23/2020 - 7:51am

This has virus had taught me many things, one if which how important it is to choose my governor. Sorry, but I don't enjoy being treated as one size fits all by someone who is dictatorial, on the negative side of things and who has conflicting opinions with no consideration of my Constitutional rights.

Scott Roelofs (...
Sun, 05/24/2020 - 9:10am

Diana,
Whitmer lost nearly 90% of the counties in the 2016 election. She was elected by southeast Michigan and the big university counties. Those pro-Whitmer people got EXACTLY what they deserve and wanted. They will vote for her again, because they like her jack-boot style. They would vote for Venezuela's Maduro if they could.

Jim Wittebols
Sat, 05/23/2020 - 8:41am

This is why I find law "enforcement" problematic. I have never had a good interaction with a cop. They all seem to think they are the law and with a moron president egging them on, its even worse. Kudos to the sheriff of Kent County

Jake K
Sat, 05/23/2020 - 8:45am

To Sheriff Lajoye-Young: we’re not talking LAW, but rather Executive Order. There is a difference. A big difference.

To DA Nessel: Why are you allowed to thumb your nose at the Federal Government while expecting compliance from Michigan residents? Do as I Say, Not as I Do? Rest assured, we will remember at the voting booth. One and Done!

Frederick Grasman
Sat, 05/23/2020 - 9:18am

Dar Leaf is just playing "politics" with the comments he made in Grand Rapids where he could get more media attention than in Barry county. His home "base" is in the middle of Trump country and he is no doubt thinking about his next campaign. He has the right to express his opinion but at least he was not wearing a police uniform.

Anonymous
Sat, 05/23/2020 - 10:22am

The main function of the Sheriff's office is to maintain the county jails. Most of these elected Sheriff's don't have the qualifications to work in a real law enforcement agency and should stick to their real jobs of maintaining the jails and not picking and choosing what laws to enforce.

A Yooper
Sat, 05/23/2020 - 10:31am

The "Sheriff" makes his statement with all his armed thugs around him.
This picture is worth 1,000 words, and none of which are appropriate here.
A very pandering and pathetic individual.
Freedumb personified.

Ed Haynor
Sat, 05/23/2020 - 12:35pm

I saw this information posted on the Internet using various verbiage. Here’s my version:

Shops: No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service.
People: OK! No Problem.
Traffic Laws: Wear a seat belt in your car or get a ticket.
People: OK! No Problem.
OSHA: While working in certain places, you must wear safety goggles and safety gear.
People: OK! No Problem.
Airlines: You must be seated and wear a seatbelt, with your tray table up when taking off.
People: OK! No Problem.
TSA: Before getting on this plane, you need to remove your shoes, your belt, anything from your pockets and go through this x-ray machine.
People: Ok! No Problem.
Grocery Stores: Please wear a mask while you are shopping to help reduce the risk of infecting others with a potential deadly virus.
People: HOW DARE YOU TAKE AWAY MY PERSONAL FREEDOM, LIBERTIES AND RIGHTS!!!

So, in the name of public safety, why the change now in human behavior and disrespect of a state of emergency, particularly by some Michigan Sheriff’s? I wouldn’t vote for any sheriff or sheriff candidate, regardless of political party, who believes they can selectively choose what laws they will enforce, since they would then believe themselves to be above the law. No one in America is above the law.

John Gault
Sat, 05/23/2020 - 12:59pm

Mr. Haynor, you don’t think the local gendarmes have been historically selectively enforcing laws before this Covid-19 Gubernatorial over-reach? Ok.

Kevin Grand
Sat, 05/23/2020 - 1:56pm

Did it ever occur to you, Mr. Haynor, that constantly growing list above is EXACTLY the reason why we have said "Enough!"?

sarroth
Sat, 05/23/2020 - 9:47pm

You have got to be kidding all of us Kevin Grand if you're saying that you still have anger over 1) having to be properly dressed in a business or 2) having to follow appropriate safety regulations that wearing a mask during a pandemic is just too much of an ask for you. I hope, executive order or not, you wear a mask when out. It's an easy choice to do if you don't have breathing problems. To not do so right now is selfish, and thst kind of behavior is not what is going to make this country great.

Speaking of being too self-centered, fighting social distancing and masks is not the same as fighting decades of racism, by the way. Suggesting such again shows that too much of us really do not understand what black Americand have gone through over the centuries.

Kevin Grand
Mon, 05/25/2020 - 6:52am

That isn't anywhere close to what I said, sarroth.

Businesses are free to do, or NOT do, what they feel is right for their customers and their overall long term survival. If customers DON'T feel safe frequenting that particular business, it will NOT survive...end of story. When I don't feel safe frequenting a certain business, they don't get my money.

And obviously, you've been taken in my all of the hype and hoopla. I really cannot fault you for that. Michigan media outlets, including The Bridge, have been ginning up as much fear and apprehension as humanly possible (and then some). People have been so taken in by their bunk, they actually feel that this really works.

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/05/useful-idiot-alyssa-milano-clai...

THEY want you to miss the fact that the"experts" have been revising their estimates DOWNWARD. The current pandemic is shaping up to be no worse than the Asian Flu. OABTW, America didn't close everything or shred our Constitution back then in order to keep people "safe".

https://reason.com/2020/05/24/the-cdcs-new-best-estimate-implies-a-covid...

Source here:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/planning-scenarios-h.pdf

suppresst
Sat, 05/23/2020 - 10:27pm

So you DO believe Tara Reade should be given her day in court?

The precedent
Sun, 05/24/2020 - 10:19am

Mr. Haynor,
What do you say to all the business owners who are not allowed to open? These executive orders are putting many out of business. These executive orders are laws being written without the legislature and thus without my elected representatives oversight for my district. This is authoritarian governing. Why isn't everyone upset about living under authoritarian rule?... I support being being smart and safe about this virus. I oppose the governing precedent that is being set.

Voice of Reason
Tue, 05/26/2020 - 8:20am

Of course, Mr. Haynor. This thread has been hijacked by Very Angry people who have been incensed since they won the 2016 election. Their anger seems to grow in a kind of comradery; to them it's the new American Way. There is nothing you can say to some of these people that makes any kind of sense. Your posting, of course, is reasonable and rational. We have met the enemy, and it is us. I so want to move to Canada....

US Sovereign Citizen
Sat, 05/23/2020 - 12:53pm

Who is John Gault?

RONUP
Sat, 05/23/2020 - 1:15pm

I think only the courts have the authority to decide the constitutionality of a law or executive order, not waffle-assed sheriffs. I sincerely hope the state troops are still on the side of law and order.

Todd
Sat, 05/23/2020 - 1:23pm

I'm so happy that my small town here in eastern Michigan has agreed to open up regardless of what the queen says. Our police force and city officials have all agreed to stay quiet and open up. This order is unlawful and we in our city are ignoring it.

Todd
Sat, 05/23/2020 - 1:25pm

Cracks me up how Bridge asks me for money to support their non biased publication. Lol!Non biased???

suppresst
Sat, 05/23/2020 - 10:29pm

Precisely

middle of the mit
Sat, 05/23/2020 - 8:55pm

Have no doubt. There are some up here who think the sheriffs up here, if their ideas come prevalent well then...........we up here are going to see a lot of deaths. And our county health departments won't be able to do a thing about it because the police wont enforce the laws. And that is only if our health officials have a plan...........and they don't.

We get what we get and nothing less with these people.

Get used to it.

When do we {the little people} get to push back?

never?

wouldn't want to use capital letters. that would offend people. see what i mean?

because when we don't say anything, they take over. and they don't care about anything but themselves. they take over peoples yards, towns and communities even when those in their communities are trying to help them.

we can't and won't stop this until it hits conservatives families......and I don't think you could get them to stop it, even then.

some will tell you it is fake, some will say it is just nature.

but unlike with their heart medicine or anything any of them or any one that is close to them has as an underlying comorbidity?

they don't care.

i am telling you the facts. ask them.

they are more than willing to tell you.

will you accept their answer?

suppresst
Sat, 05/23/2020 - 10:15pm

I wonder what the author's, and Bridge editors, views are about federal non-enforcement of federal laws against sale and possession of cannabis in the state of Michigan, or non-enforcement of immigration laws in blue states and municipalities around the country. Do they fret about conspiracies with "far-left" pro cannabis or immigration forces? Wasn't it Eric Holder who refused to uphold the law when it came to "dreamer" illegal immigrants? Was Bridge aghast at that?

Jimbob
Sun, 05/24/2020 - 12:02am

They're right. It's unconstitutional and the governor will lose in Court

Bob Schlueter
Sun, 05/24/2020 - 7:25am

First, we had to get use to the embarrassment that our president causes us on nearly a daily basis, and now we have a sheriff that adds salt to those embarrassment wounds. I'm looking forward to getting back to leadership that care about the people they serve, rather than their own ego.

Loni Walters
Sun, 05/24/2020 - 7:53am

When would the deaths of people end after all the Jews were gone and law 'enforcement' just kept following Hitler's 'orders' to kill innocent people...yes, these 'orders' are SUPPOSED to be to protect us...but the death rate from ALL viruses has NEVER been irradiated, even the vaccines for most viruses has 'actually' CAUSED death. The 'USE' of a viruse to DISOBEY the constitution is INEXCUSABLE. The HUGE MAJORITY that will react with MILD symptoms should NOT be stricted as to what they can or can't do. Those most vulnerable should be following 'GUIDELINES' of how to 'stay safe'. One Governor 'order' that SHOULD have been made was NO positive tested covid-19 patients allowed in ANY nursing homes...but the OPPOSITE was 'ORDERED'...how it 'THAT' saving lives??? More deaths and MASSIVE amounts of people subjected to ABUSE due to the stay-at-home-order will SUFFER for ,possibly, the REST OF THEIR LIVES...plus EVERYONE literally NEEDS to coming in contact with 'life' to build immunities/antibodies. The Governor's 'orders' VIOLATES the states residents RIGHTS to build their OWN immunities/antibodies. There's just so much wrong with how this is being handle by 'leaders'...all being the Governor's making the mistakes. I say mistakes because if they know better and are still doing this, it's CRIMINAL INTENT and for that, not only should they be removed from office but also put in prison!

Bob Dunn
Sun, 05/24/2020 - 10:20am

With the potential of losing many more lives, I believe we need to do everything possible to try to avoid this. The action of some sheriffs is absolutely despicable in trying to reduce deaths in our state. Their action has certainly lowered my respect and trust in these sheriffs.

Laura
Sun, 05/24/2020 - 10:22am

Comparing this White Man who has enjoyed 70+ years of white privileged, to civil rights icon Rosa Parks is highly offensive & ignorant. Wow, “he dared to give a haircut & risk.... a good talking to!”....Rosa Parks was arrested & actually risked her life, standing up to the horrific Oppression & the systemic racism that people of color has suffered for for over a century & this yahoo, who has enjoyed 70+ years of white privilege has “gave a haircut”-probably will not get a slap on the wrist!!!! there is no comparison at all, it’s actually quite offensive and it’s apalling that a leader in the community made that comparison. Oh, but yes, he too has enjoyed decades of being a white man....

George Hagenauer
Sun, 05/24/2020 - 10:26am

Knowing which counties have sheriffs and thus probably sheriff's police who feel like they can decide what laws to enforce makes it easy to avoid those counties when traveling (especially during the coming year if you are high risk for Covid19). That of course means definitely not stopping and spending money. A few days ago we went to a nursery an hour drive from Ann Arbor- we wore masks a lot of the indoors staff didn't. They may have viewed us as dupes or fools - we were providing partial protection for them and their community as we are coming from a community with 1 in 100 people infected. The other part of the protection would have been them wearing masks. But they exercised their liberty- hopefully the virus doesn't hit that area with fewer doctors and hospitals.

Everett
Sun, 05/24/2020 - 3:42pm

So by what divine right do the sheriffs feel they have acquired the right/obligation to act as Judges? Their job description does not include this. And if every county law enforcement officer decides to ignore the law, then we have what we have in Washington: chaos. Theirs is not to question and decide.

Not the point
Tue, 05/26/2020 - 8:30am

They are elected officials, the governor is not in any way shape or form the boss of the sheriff. The legality or her orders is a totally separate question. Based on the case law around sanctuary cities and marijuana before it was legal, it is likely that the local governments can ignore the governor.

Jennifer G
Sun, 05/24/2020 - 6:38pm

Maybe we should listen to our top medical personnel during a pandemic and keep the politicians and law enforcement officials out of it as well as the 24/7 press coverage. Why do we need laws and executive orders to protect ourselves and our neighbors from getting sick and/or dying when all it takes is following a few SIMPLE, short-term recommendations from health care officials? If everyone would have just sucked it up for one full month we would be back to normal by now. But no, we can't do that - we have rights! While rights are very important so is health. I can't go to church, carry my gun or get my hair cut if I'm dead or on a vent. I'd rather have a local sheriff (and I do) that's looking out for the long term health and public safety of their county than one with his/her own agenda during these unprecedented times.

Geoffrey Owen
Sun, 05/24/2020 - 7:10pm

"If we know a law is unconstitutional, we don’t have to enforce it". Apparantly many of the commenters here think they have a right to decide whether they need to abide by the law or can decide on their own if it should be followed, much like the many Sheriffs who know best. The rule of anarchy is a greater danger than the virus. A few years back in Oaklahoma City a fine young Michigan man with much the same views blew up the federal building. If you can't behave like civilized adults please respect others. If you want the virus go volunteer at a hospital or work in a nursing home. Your 1st and 2nd amendment rights do not allow you to spread the virus or endanger others and you could, and should be charged with manslaughter if your comments and behavior cause death.

Juan Fiesta
Mon, 05/25/2020 - 8:35am

An executive order is not a law.
In absence of a statute or constitutional provision that serves as a source of authority authorizing the Governor to act, the Governor cannot create obligations, responsibilities, conditions or processes having the force and effect of law by the issuance of an executive order.

Mark
Mon, 05/25/2020 - 9:39am

You don’t abide by the laws of the State. You should be locked up like any other criminal. You are not there to make law. You are there to enforce the law. Period

Geoffrey Owen
Mon, 05/25/2020 - 3:57pm

"If we know a law is unconstitutional, we don’t have to enforce it". Apparantly many of the commenters here think they have a right to decide whether they need to abide by the law or can decide on their own if it should be followed, much like the many Sheriffs who know best. The rule of anarchy is a greater danger than the virus. A few years back in Oaklahoma City a fine young Michigan man with much the same views blew up the federal building. If you can't behave like civilized adults please respect others. If you want the virus go volunteer at a hospital or work in a nursing home. Your 1st and 2nd amendment rights do not allow you to spread the virus or endanger others and you could, and should be charged with manslaughter if your comments and behavior cause death.