Federal Judge Rules Pennsylvania's Pandemic Restrictions Unconstitutional

Sep 14, 2020

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf.
Credit Matt Rourke / Associated Press

A federal judge has ruled that Gov. Tom 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, an appointee of President Donald Trump, sided with plaintiffs that included hair salons, drive-in movie theaters, a farmer's market vendor, a horse trainer and several Republican officeholders.  Courts had consistently rejected challenges to Wolf's power to order businesses to close during the pandemic, and many other governors, Republican and Democrat, undertook similar measures as the virus spread across the country. A spokesperson for the Democratic governor says the administration is reviewing the decision.