Judge William Stickman IV of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania ruled Monday that the governor's order to limit the number of people at gatherings violated the First Amendment right to assembly and his order closing "non-life sustaining" businesses and requiring residents to stay home violated due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment.
"The court believes that Defendants undertook their actions in a well-intentioned effort to protect Pennsylvanians from the virus," Stickman, a President Donald Trump appointee, wrote in his 66-page opinion. "However, good intentions toward a laudable end are not alone enough to uphold governmental action against a constitutional challenge."
Trump cheered the ruling on Twitter as "Great News."
"Congratulations, Pennsylvania," he wrote.
Lyndsay Kensinger, a spokeswoman for the governor, said they will seek a stay against the ruling as they file an appeal.