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DOJ Just Now Appealing Court Decision on Masks for Public Transportation

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Over a month after U.S. District Court Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle struck down mask mandates on public transportation, the Biden administration is just now appealing the decision to a federal appeals court, David Shepardson reported for Reuters. The appeal from the Department of Justice (DOJ) came just hours before the filing deadline, even though they announced they would appeal on April 19, one day after the decision was handed down. 


According to Reuters:

The Justice Department told the appeals court that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) order issued in January 2021 was "within" the agency's legal authority.

The CDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday on whether it would reinstate the requirement if the ruling was overturned.


"None of the district court's quarrels with the CDC order comes close to showing that the CDC has acted outside the 'zone of reasonableness,'" the Justice Department wrote, adding that the CDC findings in early 2021 provided "ample support for the agency's determination that there was good cause to make the order effective without delay."

When it comes to the CDC, the federal agency has already given us some clues. On April 13, just five days before Judge Mizelle's ruling was handed down, the CDC said that they would extend the mask mandate, which was set to expire on April 18, to May 3. When it comes to the appeal, the CDC on April 20 officially asked the DOJ to appeal the decision. 

As the White House and Dr. Anthony Fauci have been quite forthcoming about, the desire for such a mandate has been about a power move, one that comes with a gross sense of entitlement, but also a misunderstanding of the judicial authority that the courts have for weighing in on the mandates. 


The move comes as President Joe Biden himself has expressed concerns with his particularly low poll numbers, and it's not likely that the decision to appeal will make voters like the president any more. People enjoy the freedom to decide for themselves if they are going to wear a mask or not. That sense of freedom may also be what's cooled down the fights on airplanes. 

"The Federal Aviation Administration said this month the rate of unruly air passenger incidents fell to its lowest level since late 2020 soon after the judge's mask mandate ruling, which also lifted requirements for masks in taxis or ride-share vehicles," Shepardson mentioned in his report. 

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