Federal Judge Appointed By Trump Rules CDC Can’t Mandate Masks In Airports, Buses

Federal Judge Appointed By Trump Rules CDC Can’t Mandate Masks In Airports, Buses

Mandate Masks

Masked Transportation Security Administration agents walks through a security line at Love Field in Dallas, Tuesday, April 19, 2022. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

A Florida federal judge who was appointed by former President Donald Trump has ruled that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cannot mandate masks in airports and on buses.

U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, 35, of Tampa, struck down the public transportation mask mandate implemented by President Joe Biden’s administration on Monday, April 18.

“The Court concludes that the Mask Mandate exceeds the CDC’s statutory authority and violates the procedures required for agency rulemaking under the APA. Accordingly, the Court vacates the Mandate and remands it to the CDC,” Mizelle ruled in court documents.

As a result, the Biden administration has suspended the enforcement of mask mandates for most forms of travel.

“The agencies are reviewing the decision and assessing potential next steps. In the meantime, today’s court decision means CDC’s public transportation masking order is not in effect at this time,” a Biden administration official said.

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“Therefore, TSA will not enforce its Security Directives and Emergency Amendment requiring mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs at this time. CDC recommends that people continue to wear masks in indoor public transportation settings,” the official continued.

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Some travel associations including the Airlines for America trade association celebrated the decision. Others cringed at it.

“U.S. airlines have been strong advocates for eliminating pandemic-era policies and are encouraged by the lifting of the federal transportation mask mandate,” Airlines for America said, according to NBC News.

“They just announced on my flight the mask mandate for flights is over!” a Twitter user identified as Jennie Cook posted with a photo of smiling maskless faces on a plane.

Others said they didn’t care that the mask mandate had been struck down, they would continue to wear masks while traveling.

“I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to being maskless on planes,” Black Ambition CEO Felecia Hatcher wrote on Facebook.

“Still trying to wrap my head around the fact that as I was boarding my @Delta flight yesterday the mask mandate was dropped. As those around me (flight attendants included) jubilantly removed their masks, I added a second mask for extra protection,” Dr. Rachel R. Hardeman tweeted.

“In a couple of months from now, the airplane companies will be asking for a taxpayer bailout because of covid,” a Twitter user identified as Joseph Dennis chimed in. “I guess they didn’t get the memo on the business model section on how a dying consumer market is bad for business.”

PHOTO: Masked Transportation Security Administration agents walks through a security line at Love Field in Dallas, April 19, 2022. A federal judge’s decision to strike down a national mask mandate was met with cheers on some airplanes but also concern about whether it’s really time to end one of the most visible vestiges of the covid-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/LM Otero)