Prepare to mask back up on planes: Biden DOJ asks court to reverse ruling and bow to CDC

While America has largely moved on from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Biden administration is doing its best to force people to still wear masks when traveling.

On Tuesday, the Justice Department asked a federal appeals court to overturn last month’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle — appointed by President Donald Trump —  that struck down the mask mandate on planes, trains and buses, according to NPR.

The DOJ argued in a 48-page brief filed in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the 2021 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention order “falls easily within the CDC’s statutory authority.”

“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 DOJ said. “The findings in the CDC order provide ample support for the agency’s determination that there was good cause to make the order effective without delay.”

Mizelle ruled in April that the mandate violates the Administrative Procedure Act because the agency failed to prove its decision regarding implementing the mandate, NPR reported.

“The court concludes that the mask mandate exceeds the CDC’s statutory authority and violates the procedures required for agency rulemaking under the APA,” the federal judge wrote.

The CDC issued a statement after the decision to say that it “continues to recommend” mask-wearing, and asked Biden’s DOJ to file an appeal — most major airlines made masks optional soon after the decision.

“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 agency said.

The Federal Aviation Administration recently stated that the number of unruly air passenger incidents fell to its lowest level since late 2020 soon after the mask mandate was overturned.

Here are but a few of the responses to the story from Twitter:

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