FLORIDA (April 18, 2022)—A federal judge in Florida has reversed a national mask mandate on airplanes and other modes of public transportation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accusing the public health agency of exceeding its authority. Just last week, the CDC extended its federal mandate for mask use on public transportation until May 3, citing a rise in COVID-19 cases and a coming surge in spring holiday travel. Republicans have criticized the mandate as out of step with a growing trend to ease other pandemic-era restrictions. In March, 21 states led by Republicans sued the federal government for an immediate end to the public health rule.
The mandate applies to commercial aircraft, buses, trains, ferries and subway systems. “The court concludes that the mask mandate exceeds the CDC’s statutory authority and violates the procedures required for agency rulemaking,” wrote Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, a U.S. district judge on the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. “The court vacates the mandate and remands it to the CDC.”
Mizelle was appointed to the court by former President Donald Trump. The Health Freedom Defense Fund, a conservative organization that opposes pandemic-related public health mandates, filed a motion in the Tampa court in February requesting the judge overturn the CDC requirement. The CDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Governor Ron DeSantis tweeted “Great to see a federal judge in Florida follow the law and reject the Biden transportation mask mandate. Both airline employees and passengers deserve to have this misery end.”
Great to see a federal judge in Florida follow the law and reject the Biden transportation mask mandate. Both airline employees and passengers deserve to have this misery end.— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) April 18, 2022
Source: Miami Herald wrote the original article.