A 41-year-old Trump District Court judge has brought back Gilded Age judicial reasoning to strike down Pennsylvania’s COVID response measures:
The opinion of Judge Stickman striking down PA Gov. Wolf’s business shutdown order cuts Lochner as “never repudiated.” 👀 https://t.co/dajXVkegHA pic.twitter.com/b7yTdq9GGl— Michael Li 李之樸 (@mcpli) September 14, 2020
In addition to ignoring decades of binding Supreme Court precedent to find that the business closure and stay-at-home orders violate both the equal protection and due process clauses of the 14th Amendment, Stickman found that the size limits on public gatherings violated the First Amendment.
What’s particularly remarkable about this ruling that the 14th Amendment enacted Ms. Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged is that the stay-at-home and business closure orders have been suspended. Stickman is arguing that it’s beyond the powers of the state to impose such orders even if worsening conditions warrant them. This is a remarkably dangerous decision, and given that it is flatly inconsistent with binding Supreme Court precedent it is also wholly lawless. And let’s be frank: the same judges who think it violates every clause of the Constitution to order movie theaters to close during a raging pandemic would find no constitutional problem whatsoever with ICE detention centers going the full Mengele.
There are countless judges like this who will be serving in Article III judgeships for decades now. The liberal case for Donald Trump!
In closely related news, read Amanda Hollis-Brusky’s history of the Federalist Society if you haven’t already,