Trump-Appointed Judge Finds Pennsylvania Governor’s COVID-19 Restrictions Unconstitutional
LOCKDOWN LEGAL BATTLES
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s statewide restrictions and stay-at-home orders amid the coronavirus pandemic were struck down in federal court Monday, in a ruling that said his policies violated citizens’ constitutional rights. “Even in an emergency, the authority of government is not unfettered,” U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV, a Trump appointee, wrote in his ruling, acknowledging the governor’s good intentions in addressing a public health emergency. Since the lawsuit was filed in May by a group of plaintiffs including hair salon owners, movie theater owners and several in-state Republican leaders, Wolf has lifted many of the restrictions. However, Wolf’s administration has also maintained event capacity restrictions for both indoor and outdoor gatherings and limited alcohol sales at restaurants and bars. A spokesperson for Wolf said his administration will appeal the decision and seek a stay in the meantime.