Biden Administration Will Fight To Keep Mask Mandate For Planes, Trains And Airports

Casey Harper (The Center Square).

The U.S. Department of Justice has appealed a federal judge’s ruling overturning the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) mask mandate on planes, trains and in airports.

In her ruling to overturn the mandate, U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle called the CDC mandate “unlawful,” saying the Biden administration did not follow proper procedures and went beyond its authority in making the rule.

“But the mandate exceeded the CDC’s statutory authority, improperly invoked the good cause exception to notice and comment rulemaking, and failed to adequately explain its decisions,” she wrote in her ruling.

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Biden’s administration is now under attack after the CDC asked the DOJ for an appeal.

“To protect CDC’s public health authority beyond the ongoing assessment announced last week, CDC has asked DOJ to proceed with an appeal in Health Freedom Defense Fund, Inc., et al., v. Biden, et al,” the CDC said Wednesday. “It is CDC’s continuing assessment that at this time an order requiring masking in the indoor transportation corridor remains necessary for the public health.

“CDC believes this is a lawful order, well within CDC’s legal authority to protect public health,” the agency said.

There has been much controversy over the mask mandate. Although state and local governments across the nation have generally lifted the mask requirement, the federal transit mandate has not been changed.

The CDC’s comments about its desire to protect its own “public health authority” drew scrutiny as well.

“And yet, in the last two years of masking on planes the CDC has not run a research study to prove (or disprove) masking on planes lessens transmission and improves clinical outcomes,” author and physician Nicole Saphier said. “They are insisting the mask mandates continue ‘just because’ and ‘to maintain their authority.’”

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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki emphasized the need to protect the federal health agency’s authority at a White House Press briefing, saying “for current and future public health crises, we want to preserve that authority for the CDC to have in the future.”

Mizelle however stated in her ruling that agency had never been granted the authority. This case was compared to recent cases in which judges ruled the CDC had gone too far with COVID-19.

“Within the past two years, the CDC has found … the authority to shut down the cruise ship industry, stop landlords from evicting tenants who have not paid their rent, and requiring that persons using public conveyances wear masks,” she wrote. “Courts have concluded that the first two of these measures exceeded the CDC’s statutory authority…

“No court has yet ruled on the legality of the third,” she said, adding that “after rigorous statutory analysis” the law “does not authorize the CDC to issue the mask mandate.”

This article was Syndicated by permission of The Center Square.