September 4, 2020 | BY MICHAEL TANENBAUM
“Two Pennsylvania couples have filed a federal lawsuit against Gov. Tom Wolf and other top state officials, claiming the state’s face mask mandate and contact tracing program are signs of “tyranny” that strip them of their Constitutional rights.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. Middle District Court of Pennsylvania by Chad Parker, Rebecca Kenwick-Parker and Mark and Donna Redman. Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine and Attorney General Josh Shapiro also are named as defendants.
“For many individuals, including plaintiffs, a face mask is a symbol of oppression and an attempt by the government to control the citizenry,” the suit claims.
The two couples, with legal support from the American Freedom Law Center, seek relief from the mask mandate on a variety of Constitutional arguments against the governor’s use of “emergency powers” during the coronavirus pandemic. They contend the universal mask mandate, imposed in early July, and contact tracing program both violate “basic individual rights.” (The entire court document filed Thursday can be read at the end of this article.)
Pennsylvania’s mask mandate specifically requires people wear a face covering when outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet from people who are not members of the same household. It also applies to indoor locations where members of the public are generally permitted.
“However, the propaganda message from defendants Wolf and Levine is that masks are required anytime an individual leaves the home,” the couples claim.
At one point, the lawsuit compares Wolf to a monarch.
“Defendant Wolf has assumed the power to lord over the lives of Pennsylvanians like a king, mandating restrictions that deprive citizens, including plaintiffs, of their fundamental liberties,” the lawsuit states. “The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ratified this ‘monarchial innovation.’ The citizens of Pennsylvania have no recourse but to seek relief from this tyranny through the United States Constitution and this court, the guardian of the freedoms guaranteed by that historically important document.”