A federal judge in Pittsburgh on Monday found that orders issued by Gov. Tom Wolf restricting the size of gatherings and closing non-essential businesses to protect against the spread of covid-19 were unconstitutional.
U.S. District Judge William S. Stickman IV wrote in his 66-page opinion that even though the actions taken in the spring by Wolf and Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine were laudable, they violated the First Amendment right to freedom of assembly, and the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the 14th Amendment.
“It’s a complete and total victory for the counties, the businesses and the representatives,” said attorney Thomas W. King III, who represented the plaintiffs in the case. “You can’t order the entire population of Pennsylvania to stay at home.”