The American people are increasingly chafing under coronavirus-related lockdowns, and frustrations toward political leaders responsible for the orders have begun to boil over in locations nationwide.
One such place is the state of Pennsylvania, where a Republican state lawmaker has announced an effort to impeach and remove Gov. Tom Wolf (D), citing violations of citizens’ constitutional rights amid the pandemic, Breitbart reported.
Lawmaker pledges impeachment effort
Members of the Pennsylvania state House were notified on Friday by state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R) of his intention to file a resolution to start the process for the impeachment of Gov. Wolf.
In a memo to his colleagues, Metcalfe wrote, “Gov. Wolf’s orders in response to the COVID-19 outbreak have violated a number of our God-given rights affirmed in the United States Constitution.
“In particular, his order mandating the closure of physical locations of all businesses that he has deemed ‘non-life sustaining’ has violated our citizens’ rights in many devastating ways,” he continued.
Metcalfe went on: “His order constitutes a taking of property from business owners without just compensation. The lack of due process and judicial review permitted under his order also violates the Constitution. In addition, this order coupled with the stay-at-home order, has violated our rights to free speech and assembly.”
“Lack of transparency” cited
The state representative went on to decry a “lack of transparency” from the governor’s administration throughout the pandemic response, especially with regard to a failure to respond to records requests by the legislature and a refusal to provide “vital information” to the people of the state, according to Harrisburg CBS affiliate station WHP-TV.
Of particular concern to Metcalfe was a “waiver process” to sidestep the mandatory business closures that were being granted by the state’s Department of Community and Economic Development in an “arbitrary and capricious” manner that was unclear and ill-defined, the details of which he says were either being kept hidden or slowly released by the governor’s office.
Rep. Metcalfe also took issue with what he believes is the inadequate manner in which Wolf’s administration managed the state’s unemployment compensation system at a time when newly unemployed workers — due to the mandatory business closures — were flooding the system in need of assistance.
The lawmaker further criticized Wolf’s apparent focus on “restraining businesses” while, according to CBS Radio affiliate KDKA in Pittsburgh, the vast majority of the state’s COVID-19 deaths continued to take place in long-term care facilities, which Metcalfe asserted the governor failed to adequately protect.
Metcalfe: Resolution forthcoming
“As Gov. Wolf has violated so many of our fundamental rights as citizens of the Commonwealth, I will be introducing a resolution impeaching the governor and exhibiting Articles of Impeachment to the Senate,” Metcalfe wrote. “His actions plainly constitute the misbehavior in office required for his impeachment under the Pennsylvania Constitution.”
It will be interesting to see if the Pennsylvania legislature follows through on this proposal to impeach the state’s governor, or if the mere threat of such an action will compel an easing of the restrictions he has imposed on the people.