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Samantha Putterman
By Samantha Putterman April 29, 2020

No evidence Whitmer said it’s time to put Constitution ‘in a shredder’

If Your Time is short

  • There's no evidence that Whitmer said the words attributed to her in this post. Her office called it "completely false information."
  • Whitmer has faced a fierce backlash from residents and businesses that say her stay-at-home orders are too restrictive, but polls show wide support for her COVID-19 response.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has taken aggressive steps to slow the spread of COVID-19. While polls show wide support for her response, she has faced a fierce backlash from some Michiganders who say the restrictions in the statewide stay-at-home order violate their constitutional rights. 

Whitmer, who extended the order on April 24 and slightly loosened some of the regulations, has said that the restrictions are necessary to protect public safety and that they’re helping to slow the spread of the virus.

But we recently came across a post on Facebook that’s putting words in her mouth.

The post, which was shared on April 13, reads: "Michigan Governor says ‘Now is not the time to live by the Constitution, it’s time to put that Damn thing in a shredder’!!!"

Some commenters believed she said it; others asked for proof. 

We’re here to tell you: She didn’t.

Featured Fact-check

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) 

There’s no evidence that Whitmer made this comment.

A search for the quote in news databases, as well as in transcripts of Whitmer’s recent appearances, interviews and statements, comes up short.

Whitmer’s office also told us the statement isn’t legitimate. 

"This is completely false information," a spokesperson wrote in an email. "Posts like these are being spread across social media platforms to create rumors and fear."

This quote is bogus and only exists in unsourced social media posts. We rate it Pants on Fire!

Our Sources

Facebook post, April 13, 2020 

NBC, Michigan Gov. Whitmer faces fierce backlash over strict stay-at-home order, April 14, 2020

Detroit Regional Chamber, Detroit Regional Chamber Releases Findings From Statewide COVID-19 Impact Poll, April 19, 2020

Michigan.gov, Executive Order 2020-59 (COVID-19), April 24, 2020

Nexis, database search, Accessed April 29, 2020

Rev.com, Whitmer transcripts, Accessed April 29, 2020

Email interview, Chelsea Lewis Deputy Press Secretary for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, April 29, 2020

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No evidence Whitmer said it’s time to put Constitution ‘in a shredder’

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