Senator John Gordner: Federal Court may be next in COVID fight


UNSBURY – State Senator John Gordner (R-27th, Berwick) said was not surprised when the state Supreme Court sided with Governor Tom Wolf in the battle with the General Assembly over the state’s emergency declaration due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On Monday’s On The Mark program, Sen. Gordner said they are looking at other options and may have to head to federal court next, “Time after time after time after time…this isn’t the first or second or fourth of fifth case, that the Supreme Court has had a hand in, in the last four months, that they have continuously decided for the Governor.”

Gordner said they were incredibly disappointed because the vote was a very split decision, “Out of the seven Supreme Court justices, there were four for the majority opinion, there were two in the dissenting and then Judge Dougherty had a mixed opinion. So, it wasn’t a decisive decision, but one that I don’t think makes sense in regard to the law.”

The high court ruled last Wednesday the state General Assembly can’t act unilaterally to end Wolf’s emergency declaration. The court said the legislature can’t use unconstitutional means to overturn the governor’s decision to suspend laws, since the General Assembly already gave that power to the governor.

Gordner said if there would have been weekly attempts by the Governor to listen to the Republican leadership’s views, they would be in a different place right now.   He explained, “It’s been unilateral decision after unilateral decision after unilateral decision.  If he has all but implied that he thinks until a vaccine is in place, he’s just going to continue with emergency declaration after emergency declaration.  They last for 90 days and he can keep extending them.”

You can hear more from John Gordner on this and other topics from Monday’s On The Mark program online on the WKOK Podcast Page at

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