YORK – Governor Tom Wolf is hitting back hard after a federal judge appointed by President Donald Trump ruled that many of his pandemic shutdown orders were unconstitutional. Wolf vowed Tuesday he wouldn’t heed the “irresponsible demands” of the president and Republicans in the state legislature concerning the state’s response to the coronavirus. The Democratic governor accused Trump and Republicans who control the legislature of promoting conspiracy theories and spreading misinformation about the virus and the status of the Pennsylvania economy, which he said is reopened despite the mitigation measures he has imposed.
U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV, an appointee of President Donald Trump, sided with plaintiffs that included hair salons, drive-in movie theaters, a farmer’s market vendor, a horse trainer and several Republican officeholders. Courts had consistently rejected challenges to Wolf’s power to order businesses to close during the pandemic. Wolf’s spokesperson said Monday the administration will seek delayed enforcement of the ruling while it appeals.