A judge in the US District Court for the Middle District of Florida Monday ruled that the Biden Administration’s public transit mask mandate is “unlawful,” overturning the initiative to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle “declare[d] unlawful and vacate[d] the Mask Mandate.” Judge Mizelle further stated, “the Mandate exceeded the CDC’s statutory authority, improperly invoked the good cause exception to notice and comment rule making, and failed to adequately explain its decisions.”
Even though the CDC issued the Mask Mandate with the public interest of combatting the spread of COVID-19, Mizelle stated that good intentions do not “permit agencies to act unlawfully.” Judge Mizelle agreed with “the Plaintiffs that the Mandate exceeds the CDC’s statutory authority.”
Just last week, the CDC extended its Mask Order through May 3, 2022, as the average US number of COVID-19 cases increased since early April. It is unknown how this ruling affects the Mask Order’s implementation or if an appeal will follow.
Since the Judge’s ruling, several airlines including American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and Delta announced they will no longer be enforcing the federal face mask mandate at US airports and on domestic flights.