An American federal judge has ruled coronavirus restrictions by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf as unconstitutional. Wolf’s pandemic restrictions that required people to stay at home, placed size limits on gatherings and ordered “non-life-sustaining” businesses to shut down are unconstitutional, U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV ruled. The ruling means that current lockdown restrictions, including ones that limit the size of indoor and outdoor gatherings, can’t be enforced.
The Wolf administration’s pandemic policies have been overreaching and arbitrary and violated citizens’ constitutional rights, Stickman wrote in his ruling.
The governor’s efforts to slow the spread of the 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. “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” Stickman wrote.
The ruling means that current restrictions, including ones that limit the size of indoor and outdoor gatherings, can’t be enforced, according to attorney Thomas W. King III, who represented the plaintiffs.
“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,” King said.
Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration says it will appeal a federal judge’s ruling that pandemic restrictions that required people to stay at home, placed limits on gatherings and ordered “non-life-sustaining” businesses to close are unconstitutional.
Read the ruling below:
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