The U.S. Justice Department has asked a federal appeals court to overturn last month’s court order that declared the government mandate requiring masks on mass transit unlawful.
After a federal judge in Florida declared the mandate unlawful, the Biden administration said it would no longer enforce it on airplanes, buses, trains and in transit hubs.
Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle ruled that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention failed to properly explain the decision for the mandate or follow proper rule-making procedures.
The Justice Department still claims the CDC order issued in January 2021 was “within” the agency’s legal authority.
After the Justice Department appealed the decision, the CDC argued that “an order requiring masking in the indoor transportation corridor remains necessary for the public’s health”.
Shortly before the ruling, the CDC had extended mask requirement through May 3. The agency is still encouraging travelers to wear masks on airplanes, trains and buses.
Several airlines, including United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines and American Airlines relaxed their mask requirements after the ruling.
Videos went viral of travelers celebrating and removing their masks after announcements from pilots and staff.