As a battleground state, Pennsylvania is in the eye of the political storm for many of this year’s controversies. One of the most contentious has been the actions of Pennsylvania Democrat Governor Tom Wolf, who has ignored both the state and federal constitutions in his haste to expand his power, using the virus as a convenient rationale. But a federal judge in the state ruled Monday enough is enough.
— KDKA (@KDKA) September 14, 2020
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Western Pennsylvania District Judge William Stickman IV, a Trump appointee, wrote ““The court closes this opinion as it began, by recognizing that defendants’ actions at issue here were undertaken with the good intention of addressing a public health emergency. But even in an emergency, the authority of government is not unfettered. The liberties protected by the Constitution are not fair-weather freedoms — in place when times are good but able to be cast aside in times of trouble.” According to Harrisburg’s PennLive news outlet, “Stickman said the limits on gatherings of 25 people indoors and 250 out of doors, as well as the stay-at-home and business closure components of the orders issued by Wolf and Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine were both unconstitutional.”
Monday night on her show, Laura Ingraham let Wolf have it, “It was a phenomenal ruling. We’ve been telling you this for months. Our constitutional rights may not be indefinitely abridged by executive fiat, period. They have done that because the societal cost to daily life — to everything about the lives we lead — is just too high…First, lockdowns don’t work. Just look at the number of cases rising in Europe if you think they do work. Second, the damage that they cause is catastrophic to our economy, our children’s education … mental health and our safety. By the way, they’re also illegal,” she remarked per Stickman’s decision.
Ingrahan did not pull her punches, “Stickman said the response to a pandemic or an emergency cannot be permitted to undermine the system of checks and balances. It violated the First Amendment right of assembly, the due process clause and the Equal Protection Clause 14th amendment ”
PA GOP Leader Beth Jones had this to say about the ruling, “Judge Strickland’s decision in ruling Governor Wolf’s pandemic restrictions unconstitutional was a victory for both small businesses and individuals across our Commonwealth. It is long overdue for our citizens to get back to some semblance of pre-COVID normalcy and this is a step in the right direction. ”
Wolf spokeswoman Lyndsay Kensinger defended the power grabbing governor, as reported by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “The actions taken by the administration were mirrored by governors across the country and saved, and continue to save, lives in the absence of federal action.”
Absence of action? Is she serious? The economy was stopped to the point of incipient depression. Over 6 trillion dollars was spent and added to the national debt to fight the economic consequences of the virus. The military and civilian sectors were mobilized to a degree not seen since WWII. The nation’s medical personnel worked around the clock, as did major firms and pharmaceutical companies to get a grip on the crisis and meet the challenges. The White House worked tirelessly for months. Absence? The only absence apparent in Pennsylvania is the lack of constitutional propriety in the governor’s office.