A Pittsburgh federal judge, U.S. District Judge William S. Stickman IV, has struck down Governor Wolf and his administration's efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic by stating that the stay at home order in addition to the limits on outdoor and indoor gatherings is unconstitutional. Judge Stickman, who was appointed by President Trump, wrote 66 pages on this ruling that you can read in full, HERE. The restrictions initially put in place by Gov. Wolf included a stay at home orders as well as capacity restrictions on local bars, restaurants, and businesses. For restaurants the restrictions included a gathering limit of no more than 25 people for events held indoors and no more than 250 people for those held outside. For businesses, occupancy at most businesses is 75 percent capacity, and 50 percent at theaters, gyms, salons and malls.
Judge Stickman had this to say 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." He continued saying: “Rather, the Constitution sets certain lines that may not be crossed even in an emergency.”
What does this ruling mean? It means that the restrictions put in place by Governor Wolf and his administration cannot be enforced because it's unconstitutional. Governor Wolf will appeal this ruling and commented on the ruling...
The state of Pennsylvania has reported that more than 145,000 people statewide have contracted the virus since the beginning of the pandemic and more than 7,800 people have died.