Yesterday, a District Court Judge in Florida ruled that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which previously issued a national mask mandate, exceeded its authority by continuing to require this mask mandate on public transit, including airplanes. Even though the Biden Administration had extended the mask mandate on airlines to May 3rd, following the District Judge’s ruling, major airlines and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) started lifting the mandate as well.
In the opinion, Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle wrote:
“‘It is indisputable that the public has a strong interest in combating the spread of [COVID-19].’ Ala. Ass’n of Realtors, 141 S. Ct. at 2490. In pursuit of that end, the CDC issued the Mask Mandate. 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. Because ‘our system does not permit agencies to act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends,’ id., the Court declares unlawful and vacates the Mask Mandate.”
When the opinion states that the CDC does not have authority, it appears to our legal team that it is referring to the policies regarding sanitation and keeping property items clean, as the mask itself is not a cleaning device. The opinion also rests on the fact that the CDC tried to do this as an emergency action and go around the Administrative Procedures Act, and this Judge ruled that they do not have the proper authority.
Today’s full Sekulow broadcast is complete with even further in-depth analysis of the new ruling to remove mask mandates on planes and the recent border encounter numbers.
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