Gov. Tom Wolf recalled his nomination for acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid on Monday after alleging that Senate Republicans would not vet her fairly amid the chamber’s controversial election investigation.
“It is clear that instead of providing advice and consent on my nominee for Secretary of the Commonwealth, they instead plan on using her confirmation as an opportunity to descend further into conspiracy theories and work to please the former president [Donald Trump] by spreading lies about last year’s election, instead of working together to address real issues facing Pennsylvanians,” Wolf said in an emailed statement to reporters on Monday.
State legislatures in six states limited their governors’ emergency powers wielded during the COVID-19 pandemic, arguing executives have overextended their authority.
As of June 2021, lawmakers in 46 states have introduced legislation stripping governors of certain emergency powers, according to USA Today. Legislatures justified their actions as necessary to restore a balance between the branches of state government, pointing to examples of executive overreach and the centralization of power in the hands of governors.
Before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia on Thursday, legal counsel for several Pennsylvania counties as well as numerous public officials and private companies, argued Governor Tom Wolf (D) abused his police powers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Specifically, the private-sector compainaints charge that the governor’s shutdown of and other demands on businesses during parts of 2020 and 2021 violate the takings clause and the due-process clause of the U.S. Constitution. All plaintiffs, governmental and private, further insist that the governor’s restrictions on public gatherings over the past year violated the rights of assembly, association and religion secured by the First Amendment.
True the Vote filed a federal lawsuit against Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of State Kathryn Boockvar to contest illegal ballots counted in the November 3 election.
The organization said the suit is part of its “Validate the Vote” initiative and is on behalf of four Pennsylvania voters.
A federal judge on Monday threw out portions of the Wolf administration’s orders that restricted activity during the coronavirus pandemic, saying that the governor had exceeded his authority.
The ruling by Judge William Stickman in the Western District of Pennsylvania court delivers to Gov. Tom Wolf’s political opponents what they had failed to achieve for months in the Legislature as bill after bill to curtail the governor’s power was passed, only to be vetoed.
Officials from several counties across central Pennsylvania said over the weekend they likely will lift pandemic restrictions against Gov. Tom Wolf’s orders.
The news follows the governor’s decision Friday to transition 13 counties in the southwestern region of the state – including the Pittsburgh metro area – to the yellow phase of his economic reopening plan after showing signs of slowing community spread and ramped up testing and contact tracing abilities.