The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gave the green light to the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to appeal a ruling by a federal judge that put End President Joe Biden’s mask mandate at airports and other federal transportation.
The CDC said in a statement:
To protect CDC’s public health authority beyond the ongoing review announced last week, CDC has asked the Department of Justice to proceed with an 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 the use of masks in the interior transportation corridor remains necessary for public health. CDC will continue to monitor public health conditions to determine if such an order is still necessary. CDC believes this is a legal order, within 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 Justice Department announced it would appeal the judge’s decision only if the CDC felt the mask mandate was still required.
Earlier in the month, the CDC extended the mask mandate until May 3, before Judge Mizelle said the agency exceeded its authority.
“The CDC continues to recommend that people wear masks in all indoor public transportation settings,” the CDC statement continued. “CDC’s number one priority is protecting the public health of our nation. As we have said before, wearing masks is more beneficial in crowded or poorly ventilated places, such as the transportation corridor.”
“In light of today’s assessment by @CDCgov that an order requiring the wearing of masks in the transportation corridor remains necessary to protect public health, the Department has filed a notice of appeal with the Health Freedom Defense Fund, Inc., et al., v. Biden, et al,” a Justice Department spokesperson tweeted.
In light of today’s assessment by @CDCgov that an order requiring the wearing of masks 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.
—Anthony Coley (@AnthonyColeyDOJ) April 20, 2022
The administration will not reimpose the mask mandate while it appeals the decision to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Biden’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that it would not enforce the mask mandate in the airports in light of the judge’s order.
With most 11th Circuit judges appointed by former President Donald Trump, legal analysts expect this case to make its way to the US Supreme Court.