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Coronavirus

Federal Judge Says Pennsylvania’s Pandemic Restrictions Unconstitutional

September 15, 2020

PITTSBURGH — A federal judge has struck down Pennsylvania 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, calling them unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV on Monday sided with plaintiffs that included hair salons, drive-in movie theaters, a farmer’s market vendor, a horse trainer and several Republican officeholders who sued as individuals.

Stickman wrote in his ruling that the Wolf administration’s pandemic policies have been overreaching, arbitrary and violated citizens’ constitutional rights.

Wolf has lifted many of the restrictions since the lawsuit was filed in May, allowing businesses to reopen and canceling a statewide stay-at-home order. But his administration has maintained some capacity restrictions and limitations. A spokesperson for Wolf said the administration was reviewing the decision.

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