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Coronavirus In Pennsylvania: 4 Southwestern Counties In The 'Red' File Lawsuit Against Gov. Wolf, Saying Business Shutdown Violates Constitutional Rights

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Four southwestern counties that are still in the "red" have filed a federal lawsuit aimed at getting businesses back open.

Butler, Fayette, Greene and Washington Counties are suing Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine. So are some Republican officials in those counties: Congressman Mike Kelly and state Reps. Marcie Mustello, Daryl Metcalfe and Tim Bonner.

They and several businesses say their constitutional rights have been violated.

Chair of the Butler County Board of Commissioners, Leslie Osche, said business owners are upset.

"We were really being flooded with emails and phone calls of folks who were terribly upset that their livelihoods were really being taken away from them in this process," Osche said.

One of those businesses is the Starlight Drive-In Theatre in Butler.

Co-owner John Manson says forcing them to shut down during the busy season is putting a strain on the business.

"I think people's constitutional rights are being violated," Osche said.

Earlier today, Gov. Tom Wolf said he'll announce tomorrow additional counties that will be moving into the "yellow" phase. Right now, 24 northern, rural counties are set to have their stay-at-home orders lifted Friday.

On Tuesday evening, leaders of the four counties sent a letter to Gov. Wolf demanding they have a voice in what's happening in their areas. In that letter, the counties threatened legal action if they stayed in the red zone with no communication.

Courts have rejected similar lawsuits against the stay-at-home order. Just yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States denied a challenge to Gov. Wolf's order filed by a local Republican and businesses.

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