On April 18, 2022 U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle struck down President Joe Biden's mask mandate for air and rail transportation. The Department of Justice quickly appealed the decision after a request from the Centers for Disease Control.
"To protect CDC’s public health authority beyond the ongoing assessment announced last week, CDC has asked DOJ to proceed with an appeal in Health Freedom Defense Fund, Inc., et al., v. Biden, et al. It is CDC’s continuing assessment that at this time an order requiring masking in the indoor transportation corridor remains necessary for the public health. CDC will continue to monitor public health conditions to determine whether such an order remains necessary. CDC believes this is a lawful order, well within CDC’s legal authority to protect public health," the CDC released in a statement.
At the time, the White House admitted the appeal was to preserve the power of the federal government.
PSAKI: "Our focus here was seeing what power we had to preserve" forced masking on airplanes. pic.twitter.com/OV98Nh1g1j— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) April 20, 2022
When the mandate was lifted, flights erupted with cheers.
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your pilot speaking. This is the most important announcement I’ve ever made. The federal mask mandate is over. Take off your mask if you choose!”— Ben Dietderich (@ben_dietd) April 18, 2022
A wonderful moment mid flight on @alaskaair today! pic.twitter.com/nWSatDRB83
Nearly a year later, federal attorneys are still working to force masking on transportation.
The Eleventh Circuit of Appeals will hear arguments over a federal mask mandate on Tuesday, Jan. 17.
Beginning at 9 a.m., attorneys will present arguments over the transportation mask mandate.
The appeal drew criticism from the U.S. Travel Association, which along with other industry groups had been pressuring the Biden administration for months to end the mask mandate for travel.
The Health Freedom Defense Fund outlined arguments in court documents, stating they believe the CDC has no legal authority to adopt a mask mandate.
Following today's hearing, the court will decide whether to affirm the decision to strike down the mask mandate. A judge will draft a written decision which may go through several rounds before a majority of the court agrees and the written decision is published.
DOJ continues this fight despite President Joe Biden declaring the pandemic is over and after a recent admission from White House COVID Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha that masks don't work to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Biden's COVID Czar Finally Gives Up on Mask Wearing— Gretchen 🇺🇸 (@GretchenOO8) December 23, 2022
"There is no study in the world that shows that masks work that well," admitted Dr. Ashish Jha.
He says we should instead focus on making “substantial improvements in indoor air quality.” pic.twitter.com/va8lIVhn2I