ALLEGHENY COUNTY, PA.
Last week a federal court ruling decided Governor Tom Wolf's gathering limitations to be unconstitutional. The lawsuit against the state proposed by PA business owners moved to eliminate the maximum gathering limits for indoor and outdoor venues.
In his final ruling, Federal judge Strickland ended governor Tom Wolf's authoritarian power limiting gatherings. Although the judge found the congregate gathering component, the stay at home, and the business closure components as to the specific plaintiffs is unconstitutional, it should be read that similarly situated folks would "win" as well.
The governor immediately followed the courts ruling with an announcement he was "disappointed" but would not end his mandate.
In fact, he doubled down advising he would seek a stay on the injunction while preparing for an appeal. While the limit restriction no longer exists and cannot ever be mandated again, the governor insists his unconstitutional order stands. So what does this mean? Governor Wolf still intends to enforce the restriction but unfortunately for him there is no legal ground to stand on. Business owners cannot be fined or lose their license to operate "because he says so".
Governor Wolf's veiled threats remain a concern for rink owners who remain in a position of uncertainty: "do we open up as normal, or continue to follow the unconstitutional and unlawful mandate"? This continues to remain an unknown. Will rink owners accept the ruling and defy the governor's fraudulent order or will they continue to be fearful of penalization measures which do not exist?