Pa. virus restrictions ‘unconstitutional’: judge
A federal judge Monday struck down Pennsylvania’s coronavirus restrictions that banned large gatherings and forced nonessential businesses to close, calling the order “unconstitutional.”
Judge William Stickman ruled in favor of four counties that had sued Gov. Tom Wolf and Health Secretary Rachel Levine over the rules.
The GOP-led counties were joined in the suit by businesses including hair salons, a farmers market vendor, a horse trainer and drive-in movie theaters.
Stickman wrote that the state’s pandemic policies were taken with “good intention,” but he said they also were overreaching and arbitrary and violated the Constitution.
“There is no question that this country has faced, and will face, emergencies of every sort,” he wrote. s“But 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.” He added the Constitution “sets certain lines that may not be crossed, even in an emergency.”
The Democratic governor had lifted many of the restrictions since the suit was filed May, but he’s kept some limits on indoor venues and large gatherings.