The Biden Justice Department is fighting to reverse the decision which deemed the nationwide mask mandate unlawful, hoping to gain back the power to force individuals wear masks on public transportation, including planes, once again.
In April 2022, U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle of the Middle District of Florida ruled that the mask mandate — forcing individuals to wear masks on public transportation — was unlawful in nature and concluded that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which issued the original directive January 29, 2021, was overstepping its authority. The rule required all of those two and older to wear masks while in airports and on airplanes, with very few exceptions.
As Breitbart News reported at the time:
Monday’s ruling was on one of the earliest cases, filed in July 2021. The lawsuit alleged that the Mask Mandate violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) on three separate grounds: First, that issuing the order is beyond CDC’s statutory authority granted by Congress in 42 U.S.C. § 264a. Second, that the CDC’s action was really a rule (i.e., a regulation) rather than an order, and therefore had to go through a process of public notice and opportunity for public comment before taking effect. And third, that it violates the APA because it is “arbitrary and capricious,” meaning that it was not the result of reasoned decision-making.
“The government purports to discover this unheralded power to regulate how individuals appear and behave in public in a long-extant statute—one over seventy years old,” Judge Kathryn Mizelle wrote. “This history suggests that the power the government sees in § 264(a) is a mirage.”
“The only reason the Mandate cites is the public health emergency caused by COVID-19,” Mizelle wrote, concluding that “a limited remedy would be no remedy at all,” ruling the mandate unlawful.
“Because our system does not permit agencies to act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends, the Court declares unlawful and vacates the Mask Mandate,” Mizelle said, sparking freedom for millions of travelers. However, Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ) quickly stated its intention to appeal and asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit to reinstate the order:
New Statement on Mask Mandate Ruling pic.twitter.com/SwYHIqTG2e
— Anthony Coley (@AnthonyColeyDOJ) April 19, 2022
That three-judge panel recently heard arguments on the appeal, and according to Reuters, “much of the arguments in the appeal focus on the CDC’s decision to put in place the requirements immediately rather than give the public a chance to comment on the mandate.”
DOJ lawyer Brian Springer contended that the mandate was crucial “to prevent the possible infections and deaths that could result if people didn’t do the simple thing of just putting on a mask while they were traveling.”
Notably, individuals are still free to wear a mask — which are not very effective at preventing the transmission of the virus, as studies show and Dr. Anthony Fauci admitted — on planes and transportation hubs if they so choose.
The extended mask mandate served as yet another broken promise of President Biden, as he originally pitched “just” 100 days of masking prior to taking office, describing it as a “patriotic act.” That broken promise comes to no surprise, as he also broke his vow to not push mandatory vaccines — a move that required a final ruling from the Supreme Court, sparing millions of U.S. workers from potentially losing their jobs.