Federal Judge Rules That Pennsylvania’s Coronavirus Restrictions Are Unconstitutional
Governor Tom Wolf's restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic are "unconstitutional," a federal judge ruled moments ago (September 14), the Associated Press (AP) is reporting.
The ruling from U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV sides with plaintiffs from across the state including hair salons, movie theaters, and several Republican lawmakers, who sued Pennsylvania's Democratic Governor Tom Wolf and the state's health secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine.
Stickman, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, called the pandemic policies from the Wolf administration "overreaching and arbitrary." Stickman's ruling says the measures violate the constitutional rights of citizens, according to the AP.
Many of the measures, which shuttered businesses across the state and included a stay at home order, have since been rescinded.
However, it remains to be seen how this could affect some of the updated guidelines from the Governor including restrictions on bars, restaurants, and indoor gatherings, which have fluctuated throughout the summer, the AP reports.
Stickman's ruling said that the governor's efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus "were undertaken with the good intention of addressing a public health emergency... but even in an emergency, the authority of government is not unfettered."
Previous court rulings have sided with the governor's administration. A spokesperson for Governor Wolf says that the administration is reviewing the decision.