A Pennsylvania congressman joined local businesses owners and four counties in the southwestern part of the state in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the governor’s stay-at-home orders, TribLive reported Thursday.
Republican Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly joined local business owners and county commissioners in the federal lawsuit challenging Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s authority, TribLive reported.
Wolf’s stay-at-home orders, which include the shutdown of non-essential businesses, have drawn complaints from business owners who claim they are suffering financial hardships and a loss of livelihood due to the strict orders. The lawsuit includes four counties and several local hair salons, two drive-in theaters, a race horse trainer, and a farm.
The lawsuit also alleges that the shutdown forbade “constitutionally protected” activities including campaign rallies and door-to-door campaigning.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected a similar action Wednesday from eastern Pennsylvania, which is experiencing a larger outbreak than the western portion of the state.
One county district attorney announced that he wouldn’t prosecute any businesses that reopen in Greene County, a rural part of the state near West Virginia where 27 people have tested positive for coronavirus.
“I cannot in good conscience stand by and watch our economy and the small businesses in my community perish,” Russo said according to TribLive.
“If large conglomerate shopping centers, gas stations and businesses deemed essential such as beer distributors can safely operate with thousands of customers entering their stores each day, then there is no reason the small business owner should not be allowed to operate under the same guidelines.”
Some salon owners and barbers across the state have defied the orders due to the financial toll that a mandatory shutdown has caused them. (RELATED: Pennsylvania Barber Spends $300 Per Week Driving To Customers While Trying To Survive During Business Shutdown)
Wolf is expected to roll out the next stage of reopenings Friday in Pennsylvania, with local news channels anticipating that Allegheny County — where Pittsburgh, the state’s second largest city is located — will be included on the list along with Greene.