The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to lift an executive order from Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf that mandated the closure of all businesses in the state deemed nonessential as part of efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A group of businesses and other entities in the state asked the high court last week to block enforcement of Wolf’s executive order, which was issued March 19 in response to the coronavirus. There were no noted dissents.
The Pennsylvania businesses argued Wolf’s lockdown order was unconstitutional and filed an emergency request with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court arguing it went beyond Wolf’s authority. The state court, however, sided with Wolf and rejected the challenge. The businesses then asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the lower court’s decision.
“The executive order and similar orders by governors across the country is doing substantial, unprecedented damage to the economy,” the group wrote in its request to the high court.
The ruling from the lower court, they added, “permits the continued closure of petitioners and tens of thousands of other businesses across Pennsylvania and as such constitutes severe, immediate and ongoing deprivation of their rights under the U.S. Constitution.”