Florida Federal Judge Voids the U.S. Mask Mandate
A Florida federal judge voids the national mask mandate. Hence, U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle in Tampa, Florida nullifies face coverings in airplanes and other public transportation.
The Judge’s Decision
This decision exceeds U.S. health officials’ authority during the pandemic. Judge Mizelle believes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) failed to justify its decision and did not follow proper rulemaking procedures.
Mizelle said the most effective choice was to abandon the rule since it’s impossible to vacate it just for the people who objected to it in the lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed in July 2021 by two plaintiffs and the Health Freedom Defense Fund. This group “opposes laws and regulations that force individuals to submit to the administration of medical products, procedures, and devices against their will.”
Judge Mizelle said, “a limited remedy would be no remedy at all.” According to Mizelle, courts hold full authority to make such decisions, even if the CDC goals are commendable.
The Florida federal judge wrote, “Because our system does not permit agencies to act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends, the court declares unlawful and vacates the mask mandate.” The Justice Department has not commented on if the government plans to appeal the ruling.
Recently, the CDC extended the mask mandate until May 3, 2022, in order to allow more time to study the BA.2 omicron subvariant. This subvariant is responsible for most U.S. cases.
Lobbyists and Republicans in Congress sought to end the mandate. They argued that effective air filters on planes make COVID-19 transmission on planes unlikely. After all, states have terminated mandates in restaurants, stores, and other indoor locations. COVID-19 cases fell since the omicron peak in mid-January.
Article Information: https://apnews.com/