A spokesman for a foundation that aims to ensure that "all people have equal opportunity to pursue their dreams and earn success" is disappointed to learn that Pennsylvania's Democrat governor is expected to appeal a federal decision against his COVID-19 shutdown orders.
Michael Torres of the Commonwealth Foundation in Pennsylvania does not think Governor Tom Wolf should appeal a decision that "was so clear."
"It was decisive and obviously correct in the sense of our constitutional rights and how the Wolf administration had violated them by being very arbitrary in the way it implemented its policies," Torres explains.
U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, sided with plaintiffs that included owners of hair salons and drive-in movie theaters, a farmer's market vendor, a horse trainer, and several Republican officeholders in their lawsuit against Wolf and his health secretary.
"The governor and his health secretary essentially just made up a list of businesses they said were essential or not -- in closed-door meetings -- and decided whose livelihoods would be destroyed or not," Torres relays. "The judge said that is unquestionably not allowed and violates not only our First Amendment, but also the 14th Amendment because it violates due process."
Torres contends that voters should have the ability to let government officials know whether or not they agree with their policies. In this case, Wolf "just completely stripped us of that representative capability," he says.
The Foundation spokesman adds, though, that "unfortunately, the ruling was very retroactive," as the emergency declaration that the governor has implemented is still in force.
"A lot of the things that the governor is implementing at this time are still in effect, so we'll see how the appeals court applies the ruling that this federal judge has written," Torres concludes.
The Commonwealth Foundation declares on its website that it is an organization that "transforms free-market ideas into public policies so all Pennsylvanians can flourish."