Resolution aimed at lifting stay-at-home orders has failed in Pa. Supreme Court

They say they are simply focused on the rule of law regarding HR 836.

That resolution passed both the state House and Senate earlier in June, and Republicans said at the time it did not need the governor’s signature and effectively forced him to lift his coronavirus emergency declaration.

They claimed at the time that meant everything could reopen immediately, and the shutdown orders were no more.

But the governor said the shutdown orders were issued by the state health department, separate from his emergency declaration.

He also pointed to the state constitution, saying anything that passes the state legislature needs the governor's signature or enough votes to override a veto.

The state Supreme Court agreed with him. As stated in the majority decision: “The general assembly itself decided to delegate power to the governor under Section 7301(c). Current members of the general assembly may regret that decision, but they cannot use an unconstitutional means to give that regret legal effect.”

Senate Republican leaders criticized the decision, with Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati saying the decision “fails to uphold the constitutional balance of power between the three co-equal branches of government.” 

“The court has essentially granted the governor king status,” Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman added.