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Coronavirus

Judge Denies Gov. Tom Wolf’s Motion, Shutdown Order And Gathering Limits Still Unconstitutional

September 23, 2020

PITTSBURGH — A federal judge on Tuesday declined to stay his own ruling that Gov. Tom Wolf’s size limits on gatherings are unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV said the administration had failed to show “imminent and irreparable harm will occur” if the state can’t limit event crowds to 25 people inside and 250 people outside.

State officials had asked Stickman, an appointee of President Donald Trump, to delay enforcement of his ruling while they appeal.

Stickman’s ruling invalidated key parts of the Wolf administration’s early pandemic response, including his orders requiring people to stay at home and shuttering thousands of businesses deemed “non-life-sustaining.”

Wolf, a Democrat, has since eased many of the restrictions, but Stickman also ruled against the state’s current size limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings, saying they violate citizens’ constitutional right to assemble.

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