The U.S. Supreme Court refused action that could have reopened Pennsylvania businesses deemed not life sustaining when it denied a request Wednesday to suspend Gov. Tom Wolf’s shutdown order.

A group of businesses and people, including Bethlehem real estate agent Kathy Gregory and Allegheny County state House candidate Danny DeVito, filed the request last week asking the Supreme Court to immediately suspend the order. They said the business closure order and process by which the state granted exceptions violate their constitutional rights.

Citing Supreme Court cases upholding the power of states to respond to public health emergencies even when individual rights are infringed, the attorney general’s office said in a filing on Wolf and Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine’s behalf that the Supreme Court should not intervene.

The court denied the request in a one-sentence order Wednesday afternoon. The court must still decide whether it will hear an appeal of a Pennsylvania Supreme Court order that held state officials were within their authority to order the shutdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Morning Call reporter Peter Hall can be reached at 610-820-6581 or peter.hall@mcall.com.

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