September 17, 2020

Around the nation: Federal judge rules coronavirus shutdown orders in Pennsylvania were unconstitutional

Daily Briefing

    U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV on Monday ruled that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf's orders to shut down the state, close businesses, and limit the size of gatherings to stem the spread of the new coronavirus were unconstitutional, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Connecticut, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania.

    • Connecticut: Greenwich Hospital, part of Yale New Haven Health, announced on Tuesday that it had received a record-setting $14 million gift from philanthropists Lynne and Richard Pasculano. The gift will go toward the construction of the Smilow Cancer Care Center and the creation of the Pasculano Radiation Oncology Center (Paavola, Becker's Hospital CFO Report, 9/15).

    • Louisiana: Ed Orgeron, football coach for Louisiana State University (LSU), said on Tuesday that he believes most of his team's players have already caught the new coronavirus. "I'm not going to say all of them," he said. "But some players have caught it. I don't know the percentage. Hopefully that once you catch it, you don't get it again." In the last month, LSU has reported 754 positive cases of the new coronavirus, including 50 positive cases between Sept. 11 and Sept. 13 (Budryk, The Hill, 9/15).

    • Pennsylvania: U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV on Monday ruled that Gov. Tom Wolf's (D) orders to shut down the state, close businesses, and limit the size of gatherings to stem the spread of the new coronavirus violated the right to freedom of assembly under the First Amendment and the right to due process and equal protection under the 14th Amendment. Stickman said the orders were "undertaken with the good intention of addressing a public health emergency," but added that "even in an emergency, the authority of [the] government is not unfettered." A spokesperson for the governor's office said it would appeal the ruling (Coleman, The Hill, 9/14).

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