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Federal Judge Rules Pennsylvania Covid-19 Restrictions Unconstitutional; Will NJ’s Be Next? | Aaron Neuman

A federal judge on Monday ruled that Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s pandemic restrictions are unconstitutional. The judge, William Stickman IV, ruled that the restrictions – which included a stay at home order, ordering nonessential businesses to shutter, and placing size limits on gatherings were not in the governor’s power to impose. 

In his ruling, Judge Stickman wrote that the governor’s orders “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 Constitution cannot accept the concept of a ‘new normal’ where the basic liberties of the people can be subordinated to open-ended emergency mitigation measures,” the judge wrote.

The ruling could potentially have national ramifications, as other judges will need to rule on similar cases being brought before them across the country.

In New Jersey – a state whose governor imposed some of the strictest restrictions in the nation – similar complaints and court challenges have been brought against Governor Murphy’s Covid-19 restrictions. Some are now wondering whether another judge will rule similarly with regard to Governor Murphy’s restrictions, which are being blamed for the decimation of countless businesses, and a severe spike in mental health disorders.

But don’t hold your breath about a judge ruling against Governor Murphy’s restrictions. Judge Stickman is a new appointee of President Trump, and unless a similar one can be found in New Jersey, it is highly unlikely anything here will be overturned.

However, it is possible – even likely – that the debate over imposing restrictions due to a public health emergency will reach the US Supreme Court.

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There are 6 Comments to "Federal Judge Rules Pennsylvania Covid-19 Restrictions Unconstitutional; Will NJ’s Be Next? | Aaron Neuman"

  • Common sense says:

    Hopefully NJ won’t be next. The decision made by Murphy was the only thing that helped stop the spread of the virus and prevented us from being like the other states where it was and still is out of control.

    • uhuh says:

      Rrright… just like Florida….

    • JustWondering says:

      Regardless of your views on the best way to deal with a threat from Covid. The level that the government imposed authoritarian rule, violating constitutional and first amendment rights, and sometimes in a very arbitrary way, should concern everyone, and is a terrible precedent.

      The judges decision was pretty clear. “The Constitution cannot accept a the concept of a “New Normal” where the basic liberties of the people can be subordinated to open-ended mitigation measures”

      • write a comment says:

        I am more concerned about people who care more about the constitution than people’s health.
        Let judges care about the constitution, and us regular folks should concern ourselves with the correct way to act, medically morally and halachically.

  • This is nuts says:

    NJ got it first so it was one of the first states to finish.

  • william kelly says:

    Wait a minute. NJ has 180 deaths for every 100,000 population due to COVI-19. FL has 59 deaths for every 100,000 population as of today according to Statista.com.
    This is how fake news gets its boots on.