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Family Restaurant Fights Back: Wins Case Against PA Governor’s ‘Unconstitutional’ Lockdown

Family restaurant Taste of Sicily fought back against Pennsylvania Governor Wolf's "unconsitutional" lockdown mandate in court and won.

A family run restaurant in Pennsylvania scored a big court win against the state’s ‘unconstitutional’ COVID-19 lockdown. Taste of Sicily in Lebanon, PA, was fined $10,000 for disobeying Governor Wolf’s orders hamstringing their business. They fought it in court and won.

Now, they are hoping their case encourages others to do the same. 

Michael Mangano and his sister/co-owner Christine Wartluft reopened Taste of Sicily in May after being closed for two months during the beginning of the pandemic.

They allowed customers to make their own decisions about wearing masks. They refused to pay the fines issued by the state.

So Taste of Sicily entered a not guilty plea and Lebanon County Judge Carl Garver sided with the family-owned restaurant. 

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Our fines from the Department Of Agriculture started today. We are NOT BACKING DOWN!

A post shared by Taste Of Sicily (@tasteofsicily1) on

Taste of Sicily Beats PA Governor’s ‘Unconstitutional’ Lockdown

The Mangano’s were the first business owners in Pennsylvania to challenge the Department of Agriculture in court.

This should certainly send a message!

“It is very questionable as to whether the law allows the Department of Health to issue orders as it did. It is not possible for a criminal penalty to be imposed for violating the orders,” attorney Eric Winter said. 

From The Daily Caller:

Wolf had fixated his attention on Lebanon County and the Republican leadership supporting small businesses like Taste of Sicily that defied state orders. Wolf decided to withhold $13 million in funding from the county July 17, leaving it as the only county in the state to have been cut off from the $625 million package of coronavirus relief funds. Wolf blamed the Republican-controlled Board of Commissioners, according to WPXI.

“The mask mandate, the plexiglass, the social distancing, all of those things that the governor and [Secretary of Health Rachel] Levine were implementing are not an enforceable citation,” Mangano tells the Caller. “In other words, they can’t legally enforce that. This says that any fine that you get from the state is legally non-enforceable.”

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Taste of Sicily has become an example of how to stand up against burdensome regulations from Democrats that have forced many businesses to close during the pandemic. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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We were invited to welcome VP Mike Pence to Pennsylvania ❤️

A post shared by Taste Of Sicily (@tasteofsicily1) on

Taste of Sicily Pleads Not Guilty

The Mangano family fought back against these heavy-handed regulations. Since they won their case, they want others to follow suit.

Don’t bend a knee to the heavy hand of big government. 

“When you get these fines from these agents do not pay them. Plead not guilty, and take them to court,” Mangano encourages other business owners.  

“As you can see we won because they had no legal right to fine us for those mandates and guidelines the governor and Levine implemented.”

Governor Wolf Wants To Appeal Lockdown Ruling

However, their fight might not yet be completely over.

After their big win, Taste of Sicily posted on their Facebook page that Governor Wolf is threatening to appeal the ruling.

When asked by a local news reporter about the ruling, the Pennsylvania governor indicated his plans to appeal and questioned the “logic” of the Judge’s ruling.

Of course, the Judge’s decision in favor Taste of Sicily followed a September ruling by a Federal Judge who called Governor Wolf’s mandates “unconstitutional”. So maybe that’s the “logic”.

There is a lot at stake for the power hungry Governor. If his orders don’t have any teeth, his house of cards will fall down.

Even with the threat of appeal, Taste of Sicily promises to continue fighting these restrictive and possibly illegal requirements.

Governor Wolf hasn’t yet learned not to mess with Sicilians. 

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