Judge Denies Wolf Request for Stay of Ruling Over Crowd Size Limitations

Administration announces next round of appeals.

Jason Barsky
September 22, 2020 - 5:01 pm
WILK News Room

Credit: Commonwealth Media Services

Tuesday, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf received some bad news in Pittsburgh. The same federal judge, who previously invalidated key parts of the Wolf administration response to the COVID19 pandemic, declined to stay his own ruling.

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV ruled that the Wolf administration did not show that “imminent and irreparable harm” would occur if the Governor’s crowd size limits were removed.  The administration’s pandemic response currently limits event crowds to 25 people inside and 250 people outside.

Wolf had hoped to have Stickman’s ruling stayed, while his administration worked on their appeal. The judge stated that the currently imposed crowd size limitations violated citizens’ constitutional right to assemble. 

The often mentioned “double standard” was used when explaining why the stay was rejected.  Stickman said the state failed to provide an adequate explanation as to why they felt the need to impose strict crowd size regulations on “social, political, cultural, and other gatherings,” but failed to impose the same kinds of strict regulations to commercial businesses who often have hundreds of patrons shopping inside.

In the days since the original September 14th ruling, changes to the Governor’s orders have already been put into action. Most notably, many Pennsylvania school districts have announced plans to boost the number of fans allowed in attendance at high school football games.

While another setback, Wolf announced his administration will continue to appeal.  Next stop: 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.

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