The Lead

Report: Wolf asks Pa. Supreme Court to uphold COVID emergency order

By: - June 12, 2020 7:36 pm

Gov. Tom Wolf introduces his police reform plan during a news conference on Thursday, 6/4/20 (screen capture)

Gov. Tom Wolf has asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to uphold his COVID-19 emergency declaration.

The York County Democrat and Republicans who control the General Assembly have spent months fighting over the legitimacy of Wolf’s order, which closed down businesses and kept people confined to their homes as the state tried to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

Next move Wolf: House and Senate approve resolution toppling Gov’s emergency declaration

From the Associated Press:

Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph B. Scarnati III, Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, and the Senate Republican Caucus are seeking a court order forcing Wolf to file a proclamation ending the state of disaster emergency.

The court filing says the state Constitution requires the General Assembly to present the resolution to Wolf for his approval or disapproval. Wolf is asking the court to rule that the resolution has no legal force if it is not presented to him.

The court filing says shutdown orders have helped stem the rise of COVID-19 infections.

The “resolution seeks to upend the Commonwealth’s carefully planned reopening process,” the court filing claims. The court filing said ending the emergency would end protections such as long-term care facilities and food banks being able to use National Guard support to supplement staff.

The resolution would “inhibit the Commonwealth’s ability to protect the health and lives of its citizens,” the court filing claims.

The court filing says the General Assembly trying to pass a resolution unilaterally threatens the state’s system of checks and balances.

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John L. Micek
John L. Micek

A 3-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning political reporter, Micek’s career has taken him from small town meetings and Chicago City Hall to Congress and the Pennsylvania Capitol. His weekly column on U.S. politics is syndicated to 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. He also contributes commentary and analysis to broadcast outlets in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Micek’s first novel, “Ordinary Angels,” was released in 2019 by Sunbury Press.