Sep. 17, 2020

GROVE CITY – As one of the plaintiffs in the case of County of Butler v. Wolf,
Rep. Tim Bonner (R-Mercer/Butler) issued the following update on Monday’s historic U.S. District Court ruling that Gov. Tom Wolf’s and Health Secretary Rachel Levine’s COVID-19 congregate gathering, stay-at-home and business shutdown restrictions are unconstitutional.

“Judge Stickman’s order on Sept. 14, 2020, declared that the governor’s edicts regarding lockdowns, business closures and crowd limitations issued under the Emergency Management Act of 1978 are unconstitutional as the edicts violated several provisions of the United States Constitution. As a result, among other areas of relief, the judge voided the crowd restrictions placed upon sporting events.

“However, yesterday the governor filed a request for a stay of Judge Stickman’s order asking that it not be enforced while an appeal on the merits of the ruling is taken to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Stickman will initially consider the stay request but his decision on the stay request can also be appealed to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Over the next week, then, there will be significant legal maneuvering by the Governor to attack Judge Stickman’s order.

“Additionally, the governor announced yesterday that he will be issuing new directives today or tomorrow through the Department of Education to advise school districts how to manage sporting events. It is uncertain at this time whether the directives will be advisory or mandatory and, if mandatory, whether the directives may be constitutional.

“As we must all keep in mind, we are still in a battle with COVID-19. Our local school districts must be given an opportunity to develop their plan to battle this disease and, as part of that plan, consider the forthcoming directives of the governor and the potential stay of Judge Stickman’s orders.

“As I recently stated, legal and medical matters are changing on a daily basis. We must now give our local leaders an opportunity to analyze and respond to these rapidly changing conditions. I am confident that our local leaders will consider all matters and concerns, medical and legal, and make decisions in our best interest. As we have said throughout the pandemic, we are all in this together. Your patience and understanding at this time is deeply appreciated. Thank you for your support and your continued prayers.”

Representative Tim Bonner
8th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Ty McCauslin