Appeals court allows Gov. Tom Wolf, state to restore covid crowd restrictions

By: Paula Reed Ward

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday granted a request from Gov. Tom Wolf to reinstate crowd gathering restrictions designed to prevent the spread of covid-19.

In a two-page order filed just after noon, Judges D. Brooks Smith, Michael Chagares and Patty Shwartz granted the request to stay the decision from U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh that ruled the governor’s orders restricting gathering sizes and ordering nonessential businesses to close were unconstitutional.

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Lt. Gov. John Fetterman talks about legalizing recreational marijuana, calling it ‘the right side of history’

By: Jan Murphy

It’s no secret that Lt. Gov. John Fetterman wants to legalize recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania.

It’s not because, as he said some of his critics suggest, that he’s a stoner looking for some better quality pot.

“I don’t use marijuana,” Fetterman said in a Facebook Live conversation with PennLive Opinions Editor Joyce Davis on Tuesday. “I haven’t used marijuana. I’ll take a drug test if that’s what it takes.”

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Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf asks lawmakers to stop ‘irresponsible behavior’; GOP leaders say he won’t work with them

By: Jan Murphy

Gov. Tom Wolf is accusing the GOP-controlled General Assembly of acting irresponsibly in ways that will harm Pennsylvanians at a time when he is trying to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At a Thursday news conference that was billed as focusing on government reform and COVID-19 mitigation efforts, the governor spent a good part of the time criticizing lawmakers for pursuing “dangerous legislation” this week.

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50,000 residents download Pennsylvania’s covid app in 24 hours

By: Teghan Simonton

Pennsylvania’s new covid-19 contact tracing app has been downloaded by 50,000 people, Gov. Tom Wolf’s office said Wednesday. The mobile app, COVID Alert PA, was announced in August and officially launched Tuesday.

The app notifies users if they have been exposed to covid-19 using Bluetooth technology. Without tracking identity or location, it measures time and distance between users, notifying them if they’ve come in close contact with someone who has later tested positive for the coronavirus.

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Judge rejects Wolf’s request for stay on shutdown ruling

By: Torsten Ove

A federal judge on Tuesday denied a request by Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration to stay an order striking down key COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the governor on public gatherings pending an appeal before the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV ruled that the Wolf administration is unlikely to succeed in its appeal of his order or prove that the administration will be irreparably harmed without a stay.

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Voting victories for Democrats in Pa. might have closed the door on more election reform

By: Cynthia Fernandez

HARRISBURG — With less than seven weeks to go, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has significantly altered how the state’s election will run on Nov. 3, allowing ballots that arrive after Election Day to be counted and giving voters the option to use satellite drop boxes.

But a change counties say is critical to a smooth election — allowing them to begin processing ballots earlier — remains unresolved in the legislature. And with Republicans condemning the court’s rulings as partisan and dangerous, the chances of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and GOP leadership reaching an agreement seem less likely than ever.

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Gov. Wolf argues ‘life and death’ while seeking stay in pandemic restrictions ruling

By: Paul Reed Ward

Attorneys for Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration on Wednesday asked to stay the federal court decision from earlier this week in which a district judge ruled unconstitutional the state’s shutdown orders over the covid-19 pandemic.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs in the case said they will vigorously oppose any motion to stay — meaning, to suspend the ruling — and expect to file briefs on Thursday.

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