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Federal Judge Nixes Mask Mandate on Public Transportation

Federal Judge Nixes Mask Mandate on Public Transportation

The CDC’s failure to explain its reasoning is particularly problematic here. At the time when the CDC issued the Mandate, the COVID-19 pandemic had been ongoing for almost a year and COVID-19 case numbers were decreasing.”

U.S. District Court Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle threw out the CDC mask mandate on public transportation because the agency did not explain why it needed to extend the mandate for another 15 days and overstepped its boundaries.

Mizelle concluded: “But the Mandate exceeded the CDC’s 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 pursuit of desirable ends,’ id., the Court declared unlawful and vacates the Mask Mandate.”

The mandate applies to people 2-years-old and up:

The ruling from U.S.. District Court Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, came in a case brought in Florida federal court by Health Freedom Defense Fund, Inc. and frequent air travelers Ana Daza and Sarah Pope against the administration. Judge Mizelle determined that the mandate violated the Administrative Procedure Act by being outside the scope of the CDC’s authority, was “arbitrary” and “capricious” and not going through the required notice and comment period for federal rulemaking.

Mizelle examined the section of the Public Health Services Act of 1944 that was the basis for the mandate. That law allows the CDC “to make and enforce such regulations” deemed “necessary to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the States[.]” To achieve this, the law says that CDC can utilize “inspection, fumigation disinfection sanitation, pest extermination, destruction of animals or articles found to be so infect or contaminated as to be sources of dangerous infection to human beings, and other measures[.]” The administration, the judge noted, has claimed that the mask mandate falls under “sanitation.”

The judge noted that one could view “sanitation” as being an active measure to clean or as a preventative measure to keep something from getting dirty or infected, but through an examination of the statutory language, she determined it was the former.

“The context of [the statute] indicates that ‘sanitation’ and ‘other measures’ refer to measures that clean something, not ones that keep something clean,” Mizelle wrote. “Wearing a mask cleans nothing.”

The judge also noted that the CDC’s reasoning was flawed because the sanitation power only applies to property, not to people.

The CDC argued the agency did not have to follow the “standard notice and comment process for rulemaking” because its mandate is not a rule and qualifies for the “good cause exemption.”

Mizelle said no: “The CDC’s failure to explain its reasoning is particularly problematic here. At the time when the CDC issued the Mandate, the COVID-19 pandemic had been ongoing for almost a year and COVID-19 case numbers were decreasing. This timing undercuts the CDC’s suggestion that its action was so urgent that a thirty-day comment period was contrary to the public interest.”

Health Freedom Defense Fund… by Mary Elizabeth


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How many months late?

Meanwhile the cowards on SCOTUS just refused to hear the case of the NY teachers against forced vaccination, and NY fired every one of them.

At this point the courts are a joke. They may as well just put political parties next to their names.

    Dathurtz in reply to Olinser. | April 18, 2022 at 3:59 pm

    But we keep on paying attention to what they think, don’t we?

    peakcat76 in reply to Olinser. | April 18, 2022 at 5:42 pm

    It was wise latina who declined to hear emergency appeal

      Milhouse in reply to peakcat76. | April 19, 2022 at 10:06 am

      But this was not the emergency appeal. This was a regular cert petition, and it was rejected by the conference as a whole, meaning it got fewer than four votes, possibly even none.

    DaveGinOly in reply to Olinser. | April 18, 2022 at 7:59 pm

    Robert Barnes argued early on that suing was futile during the hysteria. He counseled waiting for the court of public opinion to turn against the mandates, and then sue. This strategic thinking seems to be working. Judges are influenced by public opinion, and the actual “science” has had time to mature and come to the attention of more people (including judges). This confluence of elements wasn’t possible earlier.

Is Do wets the one who chooses which cases to take?

    gonzotx in reply to gonzotx. | April 18, 2022 at 5:10 pm

    Sorry autocorrect went nuts

    I said, does Roberts choose the cases or all the SC?
    See if this works out

      Milhouse in reply to gonzotx. | April 19, 2022 at 10:05 am

      Cert can be granted by any four justices. The vote count on this petition was not disclosed, so we don’t know whether it got no votes, one, two, or three.

Finally a good decision from the courts. Took them long enough since we’ve known for well over a year that cloth masks are garbage and they don’t block viruses. But was never really about a virus, was it?

    Milhouse in reply to Ironclaw. | April 19, 2022 at 10:09 am

    The decision had nothing to do with whether masks work or not. As the post says, it was decided on three separate grounds, none of which are related to masks’ actual efficacy.

    For the purpose of this petition the court had to assume that the masks are 100% effective and wonderful and save thousands of lives. The question before the court was, given that assumption, did the CDC have the authority to make this order, and the answer was no, for three separate reasons.

The courts did eventually reach a good decision, but how many people have been arrested, charged, abused, and fined for refusing to wear a mask in an airport or on a plane since this rule was enacted? For refusing to do what the courts now say the CDC couldn’t require them to do in the first place?

Where do those people go to get their jobs and reputations back? Are the fines, fees, and court costs they paid returned with an “Oops, our bad” note attached?

Part of the problem with genuflecting to government agencies is that, by the time it gets set right, a lot of damage has already been done.

    Idonttweet in reply to Idonttweet. | April 19, 2022 at 7:13 pm

    So the comentariat is going after the judge who ruled against the administration’s mask mandate. Reading the story, you notice all the talking heads are whining about how the science supports the masks and the judge was clueless and never should have been put on the bench. What you don’t read is any discussion about the actual question the judge decided which was whether the CDC had the authority to impose the mandate in the first place.

I think your nuts to cause issue when on the plane as much as militant flight attendants who kicked off parents with austistic and 2-3 year old children who wouldn’t wear a mask
They should be fired as to how they treated families.really , well f I can drive, I drive

    danvillemom in reply to gonzotx. | April 18, 2022 at 5:37 pm

    This is a first step. Now eliminate the Covid tests before flights into the US. Illegals can waltz in but US citizens have to be tested before we can return.

    Ironclaw in reply to gonzotx. | April 18, 2022 at 6:37 pm

    Could be worse. It could be United where they knock your ass out before they drag you off the plane.

    M Poppins in reply to gonzotx. | April 19, 2022 at 6:00 pm

    I saw video of the 2 year old who “wouldn’t” wear a mask. Her father was an utter castrate with no idea of how to discipline a child.

Steven Brizel | April 18, 2022 at 5:28 pm

This is a great decision which if affirmed will go a long way in getting the Deep State out of our daily lives

Steven Brizel | April 18, 2022 at 5:29 pm

Hopefully the intermediate federal appeals Court and SCOTUS will affirm this excellent decision

    Bruce Hayden in reply to Steven Brizel. | April 19, 2022 at 11:21 am

    I doubt that they will appeal. The decision was to well analyzed and written, with at least three solid reasons for rejection, and a fourth (Major Question Doctrine) not addressed because of the others. If this were in the DC, 5th, or 9th Circuits, they might get a nonsensical reversal (like the 9th does on 2nd Amdt cases) followed by a denial of Cert. but it’s in the 11th Circuit, with a 7/4 Republican edge. I think that the risks are just too high for the FJB Administration to risk having the decision affirmed by higher courts. Esp worrisome to a Dem Administration, I think, was the APA violation. They cut corners in their rule making and got caught. They use the provision for emergency rules a lot, and I don’t think that they can afford having this tightening up of that exception go Circuit wide, or even national. Best case for the Administration would probably be affirmation on another ground, so that the appeals court doesn’t need to address to the APA question. So why appeal?

Colonel Travis | April 18, 2022 at 5:36 pm

Does this mean it is over right now?

    peakcat76 in reply to Colonel Travis. | April 18, 2022 at 5:43 pm

    yes. Take copy of the order with you to show it to airline personnel in case they did not get the message

      Colonel Travis in reply to peakcat76. | April 18, 2022 at 6:14 pm

      I’m flying next month, I don’t see anything that this is over effective now, and the government can try to get an emergency stay. But if I were flying now I’d do exactly what you said. People need to put an end to this BS immediately.

      Milhouse in reply to peakcat76. | April 19, 2022 at 10:15 am

      The order is irrelevant to the airlines. All it means is the TSA is no longer requiring them to require masks. They’re free to require them on their own initiative. Most airlines have already decided to drop the mandate, but some may decide to keep it. There seems to be a demand for masked flights, so some airline will probably provide them.

        Bruce Hayden in reply to Milhouse. | April 19, 2022 at 11:26 am

        Much more demand, apparently, for mask optional flights. Most of the biggest carriers have already dropped their mask requirements. And overall, maintaining a mask requirement is going to put airlines at a competitive disadvantage over those that don’t. But yes, occasional Karen flights might prove to be beneficial all the way around.

        janda in reply to Milhouse. | April 19, 2022 at 4:07 pm

        Any airline that continues to force the masks will lose a lot of business. At this point it’s only the completely brainwashed COVID cult members who think Biden is doing a great job who would choose such airlines when booking flights.

          Milhouse in reply to janda. | April 19, 2022 at 6:25 pm

          What airlines will probably do is have masks-only and masks-optional flights and let the consumers choose.

    DaveGinOly in reply to Colonel Travis. | April 18, 2022 at 8:00 pm

    The TSA has already issued a directive saying masks are no longer required.

    Mercyneal in reply to Colonel Travis. | April 18, 2022 at 8:43 pm

    Yes, right now.

A whole lot of people on Flyertalk trashing the judge.

    DaveGinOly in reply to randian. | April 18, 2022 at 8:01 pm

    Nobody’s going to stop them from wearing masks if they think that makes them safer.

      guyjones in reply to DaveGinOly. | April 19, 2022 at 3:23 am

      The mask idiocy should have been optional, from day one. Let paranoid, narcissistic and self-congratulatory Dumb-o-crats who are wedded to the mask conceit as an exercise to show off their self-perceived and fallacious sense of moral and intellectual superiority wear them, if they desire. Everyone else who rejects totalitarianism and who adheres to the common sense notion that loose-fitting cloth masks that don’t fully constrain the wearer’s exhalations are utterly useless in stopping transmission of a microscopic virus.

        guyjones in reply to guyjones. | April 19, 2022 at 3:26 am

        Corrected: “Everyone else who rejects totalitarianism and who adheres to the common sense notion that loose-fitting cloth masks that don’t fully constrain the wearer’s exhalations are utterly useless in stopping transmission of a microscopic virus, should be allowed to not wear masks. Simple premise, but, the obnoxiously totalitarian, Dumb-o-crat apparatchiks couldn’t abide by such a notion, because it ran contrary to their intent to exploit the Wuhan virus as a political weapon against President Trump, and, to consolidate political power, by engaging in fear-mongering hysterics and histrionics.”

      Milhouse in reply to DaveGinOly. | April 19, 2022 at 10:22 am

      But some people feel safer on all-masked flights. If there are enough such people, it will pay for some airline to provide them.

      Suppose the FAA were to lift the ban on smoking on planes. Airlines wouldn’t immediately turn all flights smoking-optional. They’d keep most flights non-smoking, but introduce a few smoking-optional flights and see how they sold. The same may happen with masks-required and masks-optional.

“to extend the mandate for another 15 days”
All this over 15 days? How parsimonious!
Of course, the judge probably realizes: in Fauci-beagle years, that’s two more years.

What about Amtrak?

    alohahola in reply to alohahola. | April 19, 2022 at 1:39 am

    Oh, just found it! Dropped, but encouraging the self-righteous!

    “ While Amtrak passengers and employees are no longer required to wear masks while on board trains or in stations, masks are welcome and remain an important preventive measure against COVID-19. Anyone needing or choosing to wear one is encouraged to do so.”

So how are we going to know that we aren’t quietly infected with the sniffles variant? What are all of our germaphobes and morbidly obese citizens going to do now? Congress is going to have to pass a multi=trillion dollar “Karen Relief Act”!

I went to the post office a couple of weeks ago where and found myself to be the only maskless person. I remarked to the post clerk “I thought the mask mandate was cancelled?” He replied “It was but we instructed to strongly encourage patrons to wear them anyway.” So I joked “So I you’re not going to drag me out back and throw me in the wood chipper?” He went with it and said “No, not for the first incident”. And we both laughed.

It’s nice to know that some people still have a sense of humor.

The NYC MTA has decided to keep its mandate. I’ve been ignoring it on trains and in stations for several months now, since I saw there was no enforcement, and nobody has said anything to me. But I still mask up to board a bus, because many/most drivers are not allowing passengers to board without one.