The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has given the US Department of Justice (DOJ) the green light to appeal a federal judge’s ruling that ended President Joe Biden’s mask mandate in the airports and other federal transportation.
The CDC said in a statement:
To protect the CDC’s public health authority beyond the ongoing assessment announced last week, the CDC asked the DOJ to appeal in Health Freedom Defense Fund, Inc., et al., v. Biden, et al. It is the CDC’s continuing assessment that, at this time, an order requiring masking in the domestic transportation corridor remains necessary for public health. The CDC will continue to monitor public health conditions to determine if such an order remains necessary. The CDC believes this is a lawful order, well within the CDC’s legal authority to protect public health.
Wednesday’s announcement from the CDC comes two days after U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle ruled that the federal travel mask mandate was illegal. On Tuesday, Biden’s DOJ announced it would appeal the judge’s decision only if the CDC believes the mask mandate is still necessary.
Earlier in the month, the CDC extended the mask’s warrant until May 3, before Judge Mizelle ruled the agency exceeded its authority.
“The CDC continues to recommend that people wear masks in all indoor public transportation settings,” the CDC statement continued. “The CDC’s number one priority is to protect the public health of our country. As we’ve said before, wearing masks is most beneficial in crowded or poorly ventilated areas, such as the transportation corridor.
“In light of today’s assessment by @CDCgov that an order requiring masking in the transportation corridor remains necessary to protect public health, the Department has filed a Notice of Appeal in Health Freedom Defense Fund , Inc., et al., v. Biden, et al,” a DOJ spokesperson tweeted.
In the light of today’s assessment by @CDCgov that an order requiring masking in the transportation corridor remains necessary to protect public health, the department filed a notice of appeal in Health Freedom Defense Fund, Inc., et al., v. Biden, et al.
—Anthony Coley (@AnthonyColeyDOJ) April 20, 2022
The government will not reimpose the mask mandate while it appeals the ruling to the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. Biden’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced that it will not enforce the mask mandate at airports in light of the judge’s order.
With the majority of 11th Circuit justices appointed by former President Donald Trump, legal analysts expect this case to go to the U.S. Supreme Court.