Federal Judge Strikes Down Mask Mandate for Public Transit, DOJ Appeals Ruling

Less than one week after federal agencies extended its mandatefor face coverings on public transportation and transportation hubs, a Florida federal judge struck down the requirement. Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, in her 59-page ruling, invalidated the mask requirement on several grounds, including that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) exceeded its legal authority under the Public Health Services Act of 1944.

As a result of the ruling, the Biden Administration indicated the masking order was not in effect and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) would not enforce the mandate. Similarly, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) on Wednesday issued updated guidance immediately terminating California’s requirement for masking on public transit and transportation hubs. The state now strongly recommends individuals in these settings continue to utilize a face covering.

Also, late Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Justice, at the request of the CDC, announced it will appeal the court ruling to reinstate the mask mandate nationwide. The full ruling from the U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Florida is available here. The DOJ appeal notice filed on Wednesday is available here.