Federal Judge Strikes Down CDC Mask Mandate for Planes, Travel

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) mask mandate for airplanes and other forms of public transportation was struck down Monday by a federal judge.

U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle wrote that the CDC rule exceeded the agency’s statutory authority because its implementation violated administrative law. Mizelle, based in Florida and an appointee of President Donald Trump, directed the agency to reverse the policy nationwide in response to a lawsuit filed by the Health Freedom Defense Fund.

It’s not clear if the Department of Justice will try to file an appeal or how quickly the ruling will be implemented across the United States, namely at airports. Several weeks ago, the CDC announced it would extend the mask mandate until at least May 3 amid calls from airline companies and groups to end the policy.

Mizelle stipulated the CDC violated the Administrative Procedure Act because it did not “allow for public participation through notice and comment before issuing the mask mandate.”

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