The government may claim that they saved the nation from COVID-19. What they did, however, was sacrifice small businesses and violate our Constitutional freedoms all in the name of this pandemic. Elected officials, both Democrats and Republicans, skipped the legislative process to implement some of the most draconian measures our nation has ever witnessed. It all started with governors mandating lockdowns and prosecuting those who refused to follow suit. This happened in Pennsylvania, with Governor Wolf literally decimating small businesses across the state.
COVID Restrictions, the Wolf Administration, and Police Powers
Business owners like Pasquale and Anna Palino struggled to keep their restaurant, Vecchia Osteria, open as Wolf restricted their operations. “We are losing money every single day,” Anna told The Philadelphia Inquirer in December 2020. The CEO of a local YMCA told ABC 6 that seeing his facility struggle was a “hard thing to stomach.” Retail operators and other small businesses rightfully anticipated an economic disaster.
As early as March 2020, there were reports that those businesses that defied Wolf’s extreme measures faced fines of more than $300, but were later increased to $1,0000. Police departments enforced orders given by Wolf and his administration, closing all “non-essential businesses.” The administration even open hotlines so that fellow residents can submit complaints about businesses that remained open. Liquor licenses were revoked, forcing businesses to go through a tough and expensive renewal process.
On January 2021, PA’s The Morning Call reported that the state troopers were distributing COVID flyers and issuing “citations” and “fines” for those who violate COVID-related mandates. While some restrictions have been lifted, nearly a year after they were implemented, the consequences are clear: The unemployment rate remains high and expanded public benefits are abused in historic numbers.
Ending the Nonsense: Amistad Lawsuit
Earlier this month, I analyzed how the government, especially the left, got away with abusing COVID to violate election security laws by the mass mailing of unsolicited ballots, the weakening and banning voter ID laws, and consolidation of counting centers. A vast majority of conservatives elected officials — excluding some fighters like the Amistad Project, The Heritage Foundation, and the American Voter’s Alliance (formerly Got Freedom?) — stood sideways and allowed your freedoms to be violated.
Phill Kline’s Amistad Project filed numerous lawsuits to combat these violations, including its latest case in Pennsylvania: County of Butler, et a v. Thomas W. Wolf. The plaintiffs accused Wolf of overreaching his executive power and abusing police powers through COVID lockdowns.
Originally filed in 2020, the case was won by Amistad when Judge William S. Stickman IV declared the Wolf administration’s actions unconstitutional. “Even in an emergency, the authority of government is not unfettered,” Stickland wrote in his opinion. “The constitution cannot accept the concept of a ‘new normal’ where the basic liberties of the people can be subordinated to open-ended emergency mitigation measures,” he wrote.
Wolf’s appeal and defense of his abuse of police powers were heard before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on Wednesday, July 21. PA Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, a plaintiff in the case, said he is fighting to stop the tyrannical abuse of power “from ever happening again in America.”
Executive Overreach: Claim Everything is an Emergency
Some conservatives were accused of downplaying the virus for refusing to implement unprecedented rules that explicitly violated the Constitutional rights of Americans—it’s worth mentioning, however, that some conservative governors too implemented harsh policies on businesses. These critics opened the door for big government to portray itself as a savior. Similarly, when Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) pleaded with the Biden administration to declare a “climate emergency” to tackle climate change, it became clear that the left’s way of governing had changed drastically: claim an emergency, implement police powers, and get your agenda implemented. It all began with COVID-19, as governors instituted unconstitutionally government-mandated lockdowns to tackle COVID.
Act Now Before It’s Too Late
Efforts brought forth by groups like the Amistad Project bring some hope that those who ruined the economy and drowned American entrepreneurs will be held accountable. We must set a precedent so that no government ever thinks about these unilateral policies ever again. These policies violate the heart of the Constitution. Our Framers purposely put protections, like Checks and Balances, to protect you and your loved ones from government intrusions.
We need to stand up now. Become a member of the American Voter’s Alliance (A.V.A)’s grassroots efforts, for free, to educate Americans about executive overreach, election integrity, and campaigns against government officials. Sign up here.
By Luis Cornelio
Luis Cornelio runs communications for American Voter’s Alliance and is the editor of our Currently Trending page. After graduating cum laude from the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership, he went on to intern at The Heritage Foundation. Most recently he served on President Trump’s re-election campaign, writing research articles on topics of Law and Order, immigration, and the Supreme Court. He also works as the Associate Editor of the bilingual news organization El American and as a researcher for the Amistad Project.