Senator Joe Pittman issued the following statement after U.S. District Judge William S. Stickman IV rejected the Wolf Administration’s request for a stay of his previous ruling that shutdown orders requiring people to stay home and placed limits on public gatherings were unconstitutional.
“Today’s ruling reaffirms the court’s position from September 14 that the Administration’s shutdown orders and limitations on public gatherings violated our basic right to free assembly, due process and equal protection. By rejecting the stay, Judge Stickman ruled that the state Attorney General failed to present sufficient evidence to the contrary.
“The Governor’s overreach in issuing his orders is clear and this ruling unequivocally affirms that. Our communities must continue to be vigilant and we must continue take the appropriate preventative steps to curb the spread of the virus, but those efforts should be made with appropriate input from elected leaders at the state, county and local levels. Unilateral, arbitrary executive rulings that fail to account for the individual and specific conditions of counties and communities are direct violations of the rights of Pennsylvanians. Most importantly, it’s clear that limitations on public gatherings cannot be more restrictive than the “gatherings” that take place every day in the businesses around our communities.
“I appreciate the court’s initial September 14 ruling and applaud the decision Judge Stickman handed down today. It’s well past time that all parties cooperatively work together to address the pandemic.”
Contact: Carlton Logue firstname.lastname@example.org