A federal judge ruled on Monday that the Pennsylvania governor. Tom WolfTom Wolf The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – ‘Dark side’ to ‘Sleepy Joe’, Biden-Trump beards in swing states Trump skewers Biden, again suggests supporters vote twice in Pennsylvania Overnight Health Care: The White House denies that Trump has embraced ̵
Trump-appointed US District Judge William Stickman IV said In his opinion COVID-19 ordered by Wolf and Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Rachel Levine have violated and continue to violate the First Amendment right to freedom of assembly and due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus “were undertaken with the good intentions of addressing a public health emergency,” wrote Stickman.
“But even in an emergency, the authority of the government is not free,” he added
“There is no doubt that this country has faced and will have to face emergencies of all kinds,” he wrote. “But the solution to a national crisis can never be allowed to replace the commitment to individual freedom that underlies the American experiment.”
Four Pennsylvania counties – Butler, Fayette, Greene, and Washington – along with Rep. Mike Kelly– 19 OTHER (R-Pa.), State representatives and seven companies and their owners have contested the state government orders on the coronavirus. Their lawsuit was filed in May when these counties were in the “red” phase requiring residents to stay at home.
The governor’s office did not immediately return a request for comment on the new ruling.
Previous rulings have dismissed several challenges to Wolf’s coronavirus orders. In July, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court established the state legislature failed to end the coronavirus shutdown.
Other governors across the country have taken similar steps in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, with most states implementing residence orders and closing operations.
Pennsylvania has since lifted most of its coronavirus restrictions, but still limits indoor meetings to 25 people, outdoor meetings to 250 people, and indoor dining to 25% occupancy. Indoor dining capacity is expected to rise to 50% on Sept. 21, according to CBS Pittsburgh.
Pennsylvania has documented 140,842 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 7,869 deaths since the start of the pandemic. The New York Times ranks Pennsylvania as a state where cases are “low and low” with a seven-day average of 676 new cases per day.