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Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Pennsylvania Shutdown Order

Oct. 5, 2020, 1:32 PM

The U.S. Supreme Court turned away a challenge to Pennsylvania’s Covid-19 shutdown rules, rebuffing businesses and a political campaign that said their constitutional rights were being violated.

The challenge centered on Democratic Governor Tom Wolf’s March 19 order closing all non-life-sustaining businesses to stem the spread of the coronavirus. The state has since eased its restrictions, and businesses are now allowed to operate physical locations at reduced capacity.

Tom Wolf
Photographer: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The Supreme Court refused to intervene on an emergency basis in the case in May. The high court has repeatedly refused to second-guess state and local officials trying to navigate the coronavirus outbreak.

The challengers included a golf course, laundromat, timber company, real-estate agent and political committee tied to a Republican state legislative candidate. They turned to the nation’s top court after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected their arguments.

In a separate case that could make its way to the Supreme Court, a federal trial judge on Sept. 14 declared Pennsylvania’s coronavirus restrictions unconstitutional. That case also involves the state’s size limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings.

The Supreme Court case is Friends of Danny DeVito v. Wolf, 19-1265.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Greg Stohr in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Jon Morgan at

Elizabeth Wasserman

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