A ruling in a Pennsylvania court against Governor Tom Wolf’s coronavirus lockdown could have a significant impact around the country.
Judge William Stickman IV, a Trump-appointed federal judge, has ruled the pandemic restrictions put in place by the governor’s administration are unconstitutional.
Four Pennsylvania counties filed suit against the Democrat governor’s pandemic restrictions back in April. The restrictions in question include attendance limits for indoor and outdoor gatherings, a stay-at-home order, and “non-life-sustaining” business closures.
On Monday, Judge Stickman decided that the measures put in place were a violation of the 14th Amendment. While some of the restrictions have been loosened since the lawsuit was filed, the judge’s decision may stop the governor from re-imposing them in the future.
“The court closes this opinion as it began, by recognizing that defendants’ actions at issue here were undertaken with the good intention of addressing a public health emergency,” the judge wrote. “But even in an emergency, the authority of government is not unfettered. 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,” he continued.
Thomas W. King III, an attorney for the plaintiffs, according to Action News 4, stated, “The judge is saying if you own a business, the governor and the health secretary can’t shut it down.”
“That never again will Pennsylvanians under these circumstances be told to stay home with fear of arrest or threats of loss of license,” King continued. “He’s also thrown out this nonsense that was the orders that had to do with life-sustaining or non-life-sustaining businesses, picking and choosing winners and losers.”
Gov. Wolf said that he plans to appeal the ruling. “I’m going appeal the court case, and I’m going to take that appeal as far as necessary to ensure that we can continue to do what I need to do to make sure Pennsylvanians stay safe,” he said Tuesday.
While we fully expect this ruling to be challenged, business owners in other states under lockdown will be watching this case to decide how they will proceed.
The state’s legal team maintains they have done exactly what other governors have done, which is true. However, many states have successfully reopened while business owners in certain Democrat-run states remain prisoners.
What we are seeing as this pandemic progresses is a virus that is still very infectious but far less deadly. Furthermore, there is little difference between states that remain significantly locked down, such as California (3,700+ new cases, 77 new deaths on Monday) to states like Texas (4,400+ new cases, 65 new deaths on Monday) that are and have been reopened for quite some time.
If Democrats don’t allow businesses to reopen and continue to play games with Americans’ livelihoods, it could and probably will cost them the election.