DOJ Asks Court to Overturn Ruling on Airplane, Transport Mask Mandates

Caden Pearson
By Caden Pearson
May 31, 2022Health
DOJ Asks Court to Overturn Ruling on Airplane, Transport Mask Mandates
Travelers exit from the International arrivals door at Miami International Airport in Miami on Sept. 20, 2021. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday asked a federal appeals court to overturn a prior ruling by a U.S. District Court judge that found mask mandates for planes and other public transports unlawful.

Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle struck down the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) mandate on April 18, ruling that the mandate exceeded the agency’s statutory authority and its implementation violated administrative law.

The CDC set the mask rule on public transportation and airplanes in early 2021. It included children aged 2.

Mizelle argued, in a 59-page summary judgment, that the CDC violated the Administrative Procedure Act by not allowing a period for public comment before enacting the mandate in February 2021.

On April 21, Dr. Anthony Fauci hit back at the judge, telling CBS that the CDC “has the capability, through a large number of trained epidemiologists, scientists, to be able to make projections and make recommendations … far more than a judge with no experience in public health.”

He also said the ruling sets a “dangerous precedent,” although he did not address the substance of the judge’s arguments in her order.

After Fauci’s criticism, a White House spokesperson defended the ruling while Republicans suggested Fauci has a poor understanding of federal law.

White House COVID-19 response coordinator Ashish Jha said at the time “the judiciary has an important role to play” but that the DOJ was “appealing this decision.”

Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) took to Twitter to suggest Fauci doesn’t understand federal law.

“Paging Dr. Fauci—That’s not how America operates. The Constitution applies to you too, Doc!” Hice wrote on April 21.

Following the judge’s order, most major U.S. transport companies, including airlines, trains, and rideshares, announced they would remove their mask rules. The Transportation Security Administration, which enforced the rule, said it would stop enforcing the order.

From The Epoch Times

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