GELLER REPORT - Sep 14, 2020 -
By Anthony Leonardi - The Washington Examiner
If it goes to the Supremes, we cannot count on that spineless, pathetic loser Roberts. A federal judge ruled that Gov. Tom Wolf’s business closures and gathering limits to decrease coronavirus transmission were unconstitutional.
“Even in an emergency, the authority of government is not unfettered,” District Court Judge William Stickman wrote in a decision Monday. “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.”
Pennsylvania argued the restrictions, which included an indoor social gathering limit of 25 people, were a legitimate exercise of the state’s police powers during a public health emergency. However, Stickman concluded the language of the July 15 order describing the duration of restrictions, which reads “until further notice,” was too broad and that the congregate limits “violate the right of assembly enshrined in the First Amendment.”
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Stickman also took aim at the components of the state’s order that closed the operations of businesses, determining they violated both the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause, which prevents the government from depriving life, liberty, or property without due process, and the equal protection clause, which requires states to govern with impartial judgment.
Under Wolf’s three-phase reopening plan, only “life-sustaining” businesses were permitted to reopen, such as grocery stores, while schools were ordered closed. Stickman sided with plaintiffs who said that the decision to differentiate between “life-sustaining” and “non-life-sustaining” was an “arbitrary, ad hoc process.”