A federal judge struck down the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) mask mandate for public transportation Monday.
District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle of Florida’s middle district ruled that the mask mandate exceeds the CDC’s statutory authority under the Administrative Procedure Act, according to court documents. The lawsuit challenging the mandate was initially brought in July 2021 by the Health Freedom Defense Fund.
*MASK MANDATE FOR PLANES, TRAINS OVERTURNED BY FLORIDA JUDGE
— Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou (@misyrlena) April 18, 2022
Mizelle, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, ruled that the CDC’s order “violates the procedures required for agency rulemaking under the APA” and remanded the mandate order back to the CDC.
The judge who just overturned the mask mandate on airplanes is Kathryn Kimball Mizelle. 35-years-old, former Clarence Thomas clerked, appointed by Trump and confirmed by the Senate right before the lame duck session ended in 2020. pic.twitter.com/lu6ck1FIvT
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) April 18, 2022
The Biden administration has continued to extend the temporary mask mandate order throughout the pandemic, most recently announcing last week that the order would be extended at least 15 more days into May. With all 50 states and most localities having dropped their indoor mask mandates earlier this year, the federal mandate forcing Americans to mask on planes, trains and other public transit is one of the last remaining COVID-19 restrictions still in place.
Earlier this year, 21 states sued the Biden administration in an attempt to end the mandate. Biden’s CDC has come under further scrutiny for continuing to apply the public transportation mask mandate, citing the threat of the BA.2 Omicron subvariant of the coronavirus, while ending Title 42 and relaxing immigration enforcement, citing the reduced impact of the pandemic at this time.
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“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your pilot speaking. This is the most important announcement I’ve ever made. The federal mask mandate is over. Take off your mask if you choose!”
— Ben Dietderich (@ben_dietd) April 18, 2022
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