The US Supreme Court wants a response from Pennsylvania by noon today in a challenge to Governor Tom Wolf's shutdown March 19 order. A divided Pa. Supreme Court has already dismissed arguments that this closure violates the United States Constitution.
Harrisburg lawyer Marc A. Scaringi has asked the High Court to stay enforcement of Governor Wolf's shutdown pending review of his appeal. He represents state house candidate Danny DeVito; Northampton County realtor Kathy Gregory; B&J LAUNDRY, LLC, Blueberry Hill Public Golf Course & Lounge; and Caledonia Land Company. These kinds of applications are only rarely granted. Attorney Scaringi, however, argues that "[u]nless this Court grants this application to stay and ultimately grants the Petition for Writ of Certiorari on its merits, Petitioners and tens of thousands of other businesses may not be able to recover from the severe financial distresscaused by the Order." He adds that Pennsylvania's shutdown is "similar to other business closure orders issued by governors in states across the U.S. The same or similar U.S. Constitutional rights are implicated in these business closures. Thus, this case not only has great significance to the people of Pennsylvanian, it has great significance to business owners throughout the U.S."
Governor Wolf has recently changed his Order so that golf courses can now operate.
Updated 11:30 am: The State Responds! - In an amendment to his original application, Attorney Scaringi argues that "actual evidence, not the projections used to form the basis of the Governor’s orders, reveals that lockdown orders like the Executive Order and Stay-At-Home order are doing more harm than good."
The state's response, located here, argues that there has been no showing that the rights of the impacted small businesses are "indisputably clear" and hence no basis for a stay.