Yesterday was a good day for freedom but not a great one.
On the good news side, courts in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin both ruled against the efforts by Democrat governments to rule by executive fiat in the name of a “public health emergency.”
Yesterday, a federal judge in Pittsburgh ruled that the rather Byzantine and fascistic rules put in place by Democrat governor Tom Wolfe were unconstitutional.
A federal judge on Monday ruled that some of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s restrictions implemented amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic were unconstitutional — marking a win for businesses struggling to stay afloat amid the forced shutdown.
U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV, who was appointed by President Trump, sided with plaintiffs that included hair salons, drive-in movie theaters, a farmer’s market vendor, a horse trainer and several Republican officeholders in their lawsuit against Wolf, a Democrat, and his health secretary.
The ruling found that Wolf’s restrictions that required people to stay at home, placed size limits on gatherings and ordered “non-life-sustaining” businesses to shut down were unconstitutional.
The Wolf administration’s pandemic policies have been overreaching, arbitrary and violated citizens’ constitutional rights, Stickman wrote in his ruling.
The governor’s efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus “were undertaken with the good intention of addressing a public health emergency,” Stickman wrote. “But even in an emergency, the authority of government is not unfettered.”
While I think most people don’t have a problem with the government acting to reduce the spread of a disease, we have completely jumped the shark. Since March, governments have been limiting the behavior of perfectly healthy people on the off-chance that they might catch Wuhan virus. And the restrictions have fallen most heavily on activities disfavored by Democrats: church attendance and protests against silly restrictions in the name of public health. What has not been affected is the ability to riot and demonstrate under the flag of the Democrat-allied BLM movement.
Thank you, President Trump, for filling the federal bench with men and women who understand the role of government in a free society.
In Wisconsin, the government school protection mafia suffered a defeat. This is via The Federalist:
The Wisconsin Supreme Court affirmed the rights of private schools after granting a preliminary injunction against Dane County health officials who sought to prohibit private schools from holding in-person classes.
In a 4-3 ruling Thursday, the majority determined that while the parties in question care about the health and safety of students and teachers, and that the state Department of Health Services is given the power to close schools, local health officials do not have that authority.
“The state’s high court stated unequivocally that ‘Overriding the choices of parents and schools, who also undoubtedly care about the health and safety of their teachers and families, intrudes upon the freedoms ordinarily retained by the people under our constitutional design.’ That’s something that none of us can allow to go unchallenged,” said Thomas More Society Executive President and General Counsel Andrew Bath.
Dane County in Wisconsin, which houses Madison, issued an emergency order with Public Health Madison which was amended in early September to stop schools from re-opening and offering in-person classes. The Wisconsin Supreme Court, however, issued a preliminary injunction on behalf of the private schools claiming that this order was “both broad and without apparent precedent.”
“The court recognized this attempt to shut down private schools for what it is – a slap in the face to educational choice, an affront to families who believe that children should be in school, and a direct violation of parental rights,” said Thomas More Society Special Counsel Erick Kaardal.
Across the country, we’re seeing the public health Karenwaffen entering into the fight to protect their public education cohorts from criticism over their reluctance to return to the classroom. They do this by banning private schools from opening so long as public schools are voluntarily closed, so there will not be any unfavorable comparison made between the two.
So if the good guys went 2-0 yesterday, what is the downside? The downside is that we should not need courts to weigh in to correct obvious and grotesque suppression of civil liberties and fundamental human rights by state and local governments. Millions of people stood idly by as these policies were implemented. Thousands of jobs were lost. Lives were destroyed through alcohol and drug abuse and depression and suicide and by deferred treatment for existing conditions.
A free people would never have stood for that nonsense in the first place. A free people would never have had to rely upon a mere handful of unelected and largely unaccountable people to safeguard basic human and constitutional rights. Just think how very different this would look if that federal judge had been an Obama judge (yes, John Roberts, there are Obama judges, and there are Trump judges). The very fact that these policies were in place, to begin with, indicates that our Republic is suffering from a case of drought that maybe only a lengthy and thorough watering will solve.