Butler, Fayette, Greene and Washington counties — and some Republican officials like Congressman Mike Kelly and state Reps. Marcie Mustello, Daryl Metcalfe and Tim Bonner — filed a lawsuit against Gov. Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine.
They and several businesses said their constitutional rights were violated. The counties were in the “red” phase when they filed the lawsuit in May, saying the restrictions on businesses and gathering limits were unconstitutional.
U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV, an appointee of President Donald Trump, sided with the plaintiffs. Stickman wrote in his ruling that the Wolf administration’s pandemic policies have been overreaching, arbitrary and violated citizens’ constitutional rights.
The governor’s efforts to slow the spread of 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 ruling found that Wolf’s orders violated numerous clauses of the Constitution, including “(1) that the congregate gathering limits imposed by defendants’ mitigation orders violate the right of assembly enshrined in the First Amendment; (2) that the stay-at-home and business closure components of defendants’ orders violate the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment; and (3) that the business closure components of defendants’ orders violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/09/14/gov-tom-wolf-coronavirus-shutdown-orders-unconstitutional/
A TribLive.com poll asking whether respondents supported the judge’s ruling against Wolf’s lockdowns as unconstitutional was trending overwhelmingly in favor of “YES” – I support the judge’s ruling against the lockdowns.