Pennsylvania Containment Measures “Unconstitutional”

(New York) The Democratic governor of Pennsylvania has taken “unconstitutional” measures in the face of the pandemic, restricting the right to assemble and ruling certain economic activities as “not material,” a federal judge from Pennsylvania said Monday.

Posted on Sep 14, 2020 at 6:01 pm

France Media Agency

The containment measures announced in the state at the start of the pandemic in March were sued in May by several elected Republicans and small business owners – including hair salon owners and horse stable owners in Naturally, those measures have hurt their business’s profitability.

In his verdict, published Monday, Judge William Stickman ruled in their favor: he believed that even if the governor’s decisions were “good intentions”, it did not allow him to violate “fundamental freedoms”. Population.

In particular, he considered the distinction between economic activities as “essential” or “not essential” to be “arbitrary” and stressed that an “objective definition” had never been given.

“The constitution sets certain limits that cannot be exceeded even in an emergency,” wrote the judge appointed by Donald Trump in 2019 in his 66-page verdict. “The constitution cannot accept a” new normal “.” “When the fundamental freedoms of the population are subordinated to measures of indefinite duration to control an emergency situation,” he added.

Governor Tom Wolf has since lifted much of the restrictions on the matter, while the spread of the coronavirus, which has killed more than 7,800 people, now appears to be under control.

However, some restrictions remain, notably limiting the capacity of bars and restaurants and restricting gatherings to 25 people indoors and 250 people outdoors.

The American courts have been inundated with complaints since the spring denouncing the restrictions associated with the pandemic without reacting in a unified manner: in May, a judge invalidated the extension of detention in Wisconsin in particular, while another upheld it in the EU in Michigan .

When contacted, Governor Wolf’s office did not immediately respond to this decision.

Pennsylvania, which narrowly voted for Donald Trump in 2016, is considered one of the states that can switch back to Democrats in next November’s elections.

In the spring there were numerous demonstrations there against the containment measures.