Judge Rules Pennsylvania Coronavirus Restrictions Are Overreaching

(PatriotHeadline.com)- Businesses won a big victory in Pennsylvania on Monday when a judge ruled the governor’s coronavirus restrictions were too far reaching.

U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV ruled that Democratic Governor Tom Wolf’s restrictions that have required people to remain at home, placed limits on the size of gatherings, and ordered “non-life-sustaining businesses” to shutter are unconstitutional.

The plaintiffs in the case were owners of drive-in movie theaters, a horse trainer, hair salons, a farmer’s market and other Republican officeholders. The lawsuit was filed against both Wolf and Pennsylvania’s health secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine.

Wolf’s administration said they will appeal the decision.

In his ruling, Stickman wrote the policies of the Wolf administration during the pandemic have been “overreaching and arbitrary,” violating the constitutional rights of citizens in the process.

Wolf’s efforts to curb the coronavirus “were undertaken with the good intention of addressing a public health emergency,” Stickman wrote. “But even in an emergency, the authority of government is not unfettered. The Constitution cannot accept the concept of a ‘new normal’ where the basic liberties of the people can be subordinated to open-ended emergency mitigation measures.”

While many of the restrictions that were challenged in this lawsuit have since been lifted by Wolf, some still remain. Now, though, they can’t be enforced, according to one of the lawyers in the case, Thomas W. King III.

This includes limits on the size of gatherings both outdoors and indoors. Currently, there is a limit on gatherings of 25 people for indoor events and 250 people for outdoor events.

King said of the ruling:

“It’s really 100% in our favor. The court found in all respects that the orders issued by the governor and the secretary of health were unconstitutional. What it means is they can’t do it again, and they should not have done it in the past.”

Despite the decision, the Wolf administration said it would seek a delay in enforcement of the ruling while they appeal to a higher court. In a written statement, spokesperson Lyndsay Kensinger said:

“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. 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.”

The ruling didn’t escape President Donald Trump, either. During a campaign rally in Arizona, Trump referred to it when he said:

“A very prominent, a very respected federal judge came out and ruled that they can’t shut the state down any longer. It’s too much.

“Well you know what’s going to happen. On November 4, they’ll open up everything. On November 4, they’ll announce, ‘Everything’s open now. We were only kidding.’ The fact is that November 4, you’re going to see it’s going to all open up. It’s going to all open up. It’s politics.”