The Supreme Court of the United States, per Justice Samuel Alito, has asked Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) to respond to the case challenging his stay-at-home order closing businesses deemed “nonessential.”
A group of Pennsylvania business owners, alongside Republican state House candidate Danny DeVito, filed a request last week, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on Wolf’s order, contending that it is “continuing to cause irreparable harm to the Petitioners and all those businesses and entities in the same non-life- sustaining classification as Petitioners.” The move followed a failed attempt with the state’s Supreme Court, which denied the request, appealing to the governor’s powers during a state of emergency.
The U.S. Supreme Court did not immediately reject the application, with Alito requesting the governor’s response, due Monday, May 4, by noon, according to the latest proceedings and orderings of the case.
“If the stay for their application is granted, it will last until the Supreme Court decides to hear the case against Gov. Wolf or not,” PhillyVoice reported.
Petitioners include “realtor Kathy Gregory, ‘B and J’ laundry, Blueberry Hill golf course and Caledonia Land Company,” in addition to DeVito. They warn that, should Wolf’s order remain in place, “tens of thousands of other businesses may not be able to recover from the severe financial distress caused by the Order,” as Breitbart News detailed.
The state has remained in a “red phase” of reopening, which prohibits the opening of businesses not deemed “life-sustaining.”
Last week, Wolf announced that 24 counties will move from the red phase to yellow, effective Friday, May 8. Those include Bradford, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Union, Venango, and Warren.
Under the yellow phase, teleworking must continue “where feasible,” and businesses with in-person operations “must follow businesses and building safety orders.” However, this phase requires many businesses — including gyms, hair and nail salons, and indoor recreation centers — to remain closed. Restaurants are also barred from opening their dining rooms, even at a limited capacity. Only carry-out and delivery are permitted.
According to the release, remaining counties “will be considered for reopening in the next several weeks as the state continues to closely monitor metrics and collaborate with CMU, health experts and counties.” Wolf did not provide a specific timeline for opening the remaining “nonessential” businesses forced to remain closed due to his order.