Mayor Helen Thomas of Darby is a MAIG mayor, so we should not be surprised to find out she doesn’t have much respect for other civil liberties either. Apparently she’s imposing a state of emergency:
An 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew is in effect for adults and juveniles for at least 10 days.
Anyone outside during that time can be stopped and questioned by police, though Police Chief Bob Smythe says theyâ€™re more concerned about groups loitering or causing trouble.
I’m somewhat familiar with Pennsylvania’s emergency powers statutes, and I do not believe that anyone in Pennsylvania has the authority to declare a state of emergency except the Governor. Even then, the statute does not give the Governor the power to suspend constitutional rights.
Thomas is also going to have difficulty with the Supreme Court case ofÂ Papachristou v. Jacksonville. It seems quite unlikely to me that a curfew imposed on adults, by a mayor likely acting outside of her legal powers, in response to ordinary crime, rather than riot or disaster, would pass constitutional muster.