Skip to comments.Gov. Tom Wolf’s coronavirus mandates ruled unconstitutional: What changes? What happens next?
Posted on 09/15/2020 11:53:44 AM PDT by lightman
On Monday a federal judge in western Pennsylvania ruled that parts of Gov. Tom Wolfs stay-at-home and business closure orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic were unconstitutional.
The ruling was in a lawsuit filed in March by four western Pennsylvania counties and several Republican state lawmakers that claimed the governors orders violated the First Amendment as well as the equal protection and due process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.
What does it mean for the average Pennsylvanian? Heres what we know so far.
Why did the judge rule the shutdown orders unconstitutional?
U.S. District Judge William S. Stickman IV said that while both Gov. Wolf and health secretary Dr. Rachel Levine made a well-intentioned effort to protect Pennsylvanians from the virus," the limits on gatherings of 25 people indoors and 250 out of doors, as well as the stay-at-home and business closure components violated the First Amendment Right to assemble.
The solution to a national crisis can never be permitted to supersede the commitment to individual liberty that stands as the foundation of the American experiment," Stickman wrote in a 67-page opinion. The liberties protected by the Constitution are not fair-weather freedoms in place when times are good but able to be cast aside in times of trouble.
Since Judge Stickman is located in western Pennsylvania, does his ruling apply only to that region of the state?
No, the ruling applies to the entire state of Pennsylvania.
What does the ruling affect?
The lawsuit was filed during the red phase of Gov. Wolfs pandemic response, when many businesses were closed. As a result, much of the ruling deals with restrictions that are no longer in place. The ruling, if it stands, could prevent those restriction from being imposed again if the coronavirus situation worsens.
Does this mean we can have spectators at high school games?
Yes. According to attorney Thomas W. King III, who represented the plaintiffs, the ruling does address the occupancy limits put in place by the administration on indoor and outdoor gatherings of 25 and 250 people, respectively. Stickman said those limits amount to a one-size fits all approach rather than being narrowly, tailored and does not pass constitutional muster."
Do I still have to wear a mask?
Yes. The judges decision does not apply to many other mitigation orders from the administration, including the one mandating the wearing of masks in public.
Does this affect restaurants and bars?
No. According to a story by Spotlight Pa, the ruling does not affect the limits on patrons at Pa. bars and restaurants. Since the plaintiffs did not challenge Wolfs occupancy limits, his ruling does not impact those orders.
What happens next?
A representative for the Wolf administration said that they plan to seek a stay of the decision and file an appeal.
The actions taken by the administration were mirrored by governors across the country and saved, and continue to save lives in the absence of federal action," said Wolf spokeswoman Lyndsay Kensinger. "This decision is especially worrying as Pennsylvania and the rest of the country are likely to face a challenging time with the possible resurgence of COVID-19 and the flu in the fall and winter.
Speaking Tuesday, Gov. Wolf vowed to take an appeal of that decision as far as neccessary to ensure that we can continue to do what I need to do to make sure Pennsylvanias stay safe.
The muzzled Wolf howls,
"KEEP WEARING A MASK!"
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So....still dictator Wolf
What happens next? I dont know, but in a just world, it would include rope and lampposts for a bunch of the little dictators all over the country.
“A short drop and a sudden stop.”
He and Cousin It were found to have violated 3 constitutionally guaranteed protections, the first Amendment Right to Assemble and 2 equal protection and due process of the 14th Amendment.
Wolf is an enemy of the Constitution, the state of PA, and the people of PA.. He and Cousin It should both be brought up on impeachment charges immediately! As should any other elected official or bureaucrat who issued similar edicts.
Tommie the Commie and the Nanny the Trannie are worthy of the Third Defenestration of Prague (1619)/
Throw the moron in prison for violating his oath to uphold our Constitution.
Throw the moron in prison and then throw him out of the window! Prague had the solution!
Neat city, Prague, I highly recommend visiting there when things are better.
By extension, this means that Il Duce Cuomo’s mandates are also unconstitutional.
State Sen. Mastriano had an online chat where he covered this decision in great detail. Wolf is appealing to the Third Circuit. Matriano thinks that in the end they will uphold this ruling. The $64 question is will they stay the injunction while they hear the case? If they do it will push the restrictions thru Election Day, which Mastriano believes is really Wolf’s goal.
I’ve been saying this since March.
You want to lock down the Gov, Pass a Bill doing it.
Anything else is very very close to a dictatorship.
Checks and Balance is the keystone to the Constitution.
Apparently not. At this rate it appears that every tyrant needs to be sued separately.
At least until this reaches SCOTUS, and God only knows what John Roberts will do.
He can move around anything he wants but the mandate era is O-V-E-R.
Works for me...I was thinking bastinado at least...
Wow! Now there’s a judge who can make a quick decision!
Well, Pennsylvanians will yet be stuck with him until the next gubernatorial election. Hardly fair to have a civil war where only one side has to play by the rules. But here we are.
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