Health

Federal Mask Mandate For Public Transportation Overturned By District Judge

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Healthcare Reporter
Font Size:

A federal judge struck down the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) mask mandate for public transportation Monday.

District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle of Florida’s middle district ruled that the mask mandate exceeds the CDC’s statutory authority under the Administrative Procedure Act, according to court documents. The lawsuit challenging the mandate was initially brought in July 2021 by the Health Freedom Defense Fund.

Mizelle, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, ruled that the CDC’s order “violates the procedures required for agency rulemaking under the APA” and remanded the mandate order back to the CDC.

The Biden administration has continued to extend the temporary mask mandate order throughout the pandemic, most recently announcing last week that the order would be extended at least 15 more days into May. With all 50 states and most localities having dropped their indoor mask mandates earlier this year, the federal mandate forcing Americans to mask on planes, trains and other public transit is one of the last remaining COVID-19 restrictions still in place. (RELATED: The Biden Administration Is Ignoring The Science On Airplane Masking)

Earlier this year, 21 states sued the Biden administration in an attempt to end the mandate. Biden’s CDC has come under further scrutiny for continuing to apply the public transportation mask mandate, citing the threat of the BA.2 Omicron subvariant of the coronavirus, while ending Title 42 and relaxing immigration enforcement, citing the reduced impact of the pandemic at this time.