Third Circuit Stays Federal Court’s Decision Striking Down Pennsylvania Governor’s COVID-19 Emergency Orders as Unconstitutional

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s COVID-19 pandemic emergency orders shall remain in effect, says the Third Circuit. The federal appellate court stayed the lower court decision striking down several portions of the Governor’s orders as unconstitutional.

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Federal District Court Strikes Down Pennsylvania Governor’s COVID-19 Emergency Orders as Unconstitutional

On September 14, 2020, a federal court in Pennsylvania ruled that Governor Tom Wolf’s emergency orders relating to the COVID-19 pandemic are unconstitutional under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Plaintiffs—a group of counties, elected public officials and businesses—challenged several of the governor’s COVID-19 orders requiring numeric limitations on gatherings of individuals, closures of nonlife-sustaining businesses and directing Pennsylvanians to stay at home. Judge William S. Stickman IV of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania ruled in the plaintiffs’ favor, declaring that portions of the challenged orders violate the United States Constitution.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.