After months of debate during this, the waning hour of the COVID-19 pandemic, it appears as though a definitive decision has finally been made regarding the federal mask mandate for public transportation.
In places like Florida, where freedom is the go-to political directive, federal officials and local lawmakers were butting heads on the regular, as Sunshine State Governor Ron DeSantis did everything in his power to avoid mask and vaccine mandates. One of the lone holdouts in which this issue was truly contentious was in the travel industry.
Now, a new ruling seems to have settled the issue once and for all.
A federal judge in Florida has voided the national mask mandate covering airplanes and other public transportation as exceeding the authority of U.S. health officials.
The decision Monday by U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle in Tampa also said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) improperly failed to justify its decision and did not follow proper rulemaking according to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).
The ruling left little to the imagination.
“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 judge wrote. “Accordingly, the court vacates the mandate and remands it to the CDC.”
The move comes after several temporary and arbitrary extensions of the mandate by the Biden administration.