A Trump-appointed federal judge struck down the mask mandate for airplanes and other public transportation on Monday, saying that it exceeded the authority of health officials.
U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle in Tampa voided the mandate, which has been in place since Biden’s second day in office.
She said in her ruling that the CDC did not follow proper rule-making when instituting the mandate, and didn’t adequately justify its decision.
Mizelle also said that it would be impossible to remedy the rule only for those that objected to it because of the national nature of travel. “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,” she wrote.
The rule was set to expire on Monday, but was extended recently to May 3 by the Biden administration. The major airlines declined to impose their own mandates and immediately made masks optional for staff and passengers upon hearing about the ruling.
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