A Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, restaurant took their COVID-19 $10,000 state fine to court and said “not guilty.” The judge agreed with their legal position that Governor Tom Wolf’s unilateral decrees were arbitrary, unconstitutional and not enforceable.
(Via Breitbart) […] “The crux of the legal argument is that orders that have been issued by the Governor and The Department of Health are legally unenforceable. Judge Garvey agreed with that argument,” said Eric Winter, the restaurant’s lawyer.
The restaurant, which is owned by siblings Michael Mangano and Christine Wartluft, opened its doors in May as restrictions ran rampant throughout the state in an effort to “make a living.” (read more)
If one restaurant and/or bar opens, the state can and will target the owner. But if every bar and restaurant in town opens; and if everyone ignores and dispatches the silly dictates of the local, regional or state officials; there isn’t a damned thing they can do about it.
Unfortunately, the cost of fighting back against these dictates is considerable. Lawyers and legal fights cost money; thus the state enforcement authorities start out with a massive advantage to deny freedom.
However, the power of the local, regional or state authority comes from the expressed consent of the people. As soon as the majority of people deny that consent, those officials and state authoritarians lose all of their power. Mass civil disobedience works specifically well in countering arbitrary dictates. The reason most do not fight is their fear. Yes, it really is that simple.
(Local CBS News) […] Masks and social distancing were not required at the restaurant and they didn’t have plexiglass barriers.
The restaurant’s spokesperson Mike Magnano said, “We were absolutely ecstatic. You know a lot of people said a lot of different things about Taste of Sicily. We were selfish. All we cared about was business and money and it’s like we need to make a living.”
Magnano said after being closed during the statewide shutdown, Taste of Sicily opened back up to full capacity in the yellow phase citing financial struggles.
“Seeing that again, the business needed it. The family needed it and they needed to do things to survive. They went ahead and reopened. And at that point, they had great support from the local level elected officials,” said Eric Winter, Attorney for Prince Law Offices.
Magnano’s attorney Winter said the Department of Agriculture tried to cite the restaurant for things they couldn’t lawfully cite them for. Winter adds citations have to be prosecuted by the attorney general or local district attorney.
Taste of Sicily pleaded not guilty. Judge Carl Garvey ruled the family business was unconstitutionally cited and the restaurant was found not guilty.
“The crux of the legal argument is that orders that have been issued by the Governor and The Department of Health are legally unenforceable. Judge Garvey agreed with that argument, “Winter said. (read more)
This case appears to be a good example of Blue rules inside Red territories. The local officials were on the side of the restaurant. Once again highlighting just how fragmented the application of COVID-19 rules are depending on very specific areas and regions.
This situation, and the acceptance of an environment that is not conducive to freedom, is what helps drive many people out of the blue states, regions and even pockets.
In the aggregate Americans do not like these arbitrary dictates; and when you travel to freedom zones you will notice there are large numbers of very affluent democrats who have hypocritically fled from the choking outcome of their politics. Those far-left ideologues who can afford to leave blue regions do so; leaving the working class to cope with the crisis they create. It’s the most hypocritical reality imaginable.
It’s madness really.