Senator Pat Stefano (R-32) today hailed a federal judge’s ruling that Governor Tom Wolf’s COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were unconstitutional, saying it represents a victory for all Pennsylvanians who have been hurt by the governor’s arbitrary orders.
Fayette County was one of four counties in the state that joined in a lawsuit claiming the governor’s orders closing non-life-sustaining businesses and limiting outdoor gatherings, and stay-at-home orders were unconstitutional.
In his ruling, U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV said “the solution to a national crisis can never be permitted to supersede the commitment to individual liberty that stands as the foundation of the American experiment. Actions taken by defendants crossed those lines. It is the duty of the court to declare those actions unconstitutional.”
“I’m proud of Fayette County for joining in this legal battle and standing up to Governor Wolf and for individual liberties, just as the Legislature has been doing for many months,” said Stefano. As chairman of the Senate Law and Justice Committee he fought for Wolf’s restrictions on bars and restaurants to be eased.
“The federal court has upheld that the laws of this country do not allow a Governor to create his ‘new normal.’ Instead, the law provides for three separate but equal branches of government who have sworn to uphold the Constitution, Stefano said. “For months the Legislature has passed dozens of pandemic-related bills, including efforts to reopen the state, extending necessary resources to vulnerable populations and nursing homes, and end onerous and arbitrary restrictions on job-creators. “I’m glad the courts have ruled in our favor against the governor’s ill-conceived actions.”