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TSA Stops Enforcing Mask Mandate After Federal Judge Strikes it Down

By Steve Neavling

By Steve Neavling

The TSA stopped enforcing its mask mandate on planes, trains and other forms of public transportation after a federal judge struck down the requirement. 

U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle of the Middle District in Florida said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention overstepped its authority and failed to adequately explains its reason for the mandate, Politico reports.

“It is indisputable that the public has a strong interest in combating the spread of Covid-19,” Mizelle wrote. “In pursuit of that end, the CDC issued the mask mandate. But the mandate exceeded the CDC statutory authority, improperly invoked the good cause exception to notice and comment rulemaking, and failed to adequately explain its decisions. Because our system does not permit agencies to act unlawfully even in the pursuit of desirable ends, the court declares unlawful and vacates the mask mandate.”

The Biden administration has not yet determined how it will respond to the ruling, but for now, masks won’t be required on planes, trains and other forms of transportation. 

“Today’s court decision means CDC’s public transportation masking order is not in effect at this time,” an administration official said. “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.”


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