DOJ Appeals Federal Ruling on Transportation Mask Mandate

“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,” the CDC said in a statement. “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 appeal is a risky move that could limit the government’s ability to make similar mandates in the future. If the 11th Circuit — which oversees appellate challenges from Florida, where the federal judge who struck down the mandate sits — upholds the ruling striking down the mandate, it would be precedent for all the other federal courts in that circuit, which covers the Southeast. A Supreme Court ruling upholding the decision to strike down the mandate would make the judge’s conclusions about CDC authority binding nationwide.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki, speaking to CNN+’s Chris Wallace Wednesday night, said the appeal was important for preserving the CDC’s future public health authority.

“That’s important for two reasons: One because we think it’s entirely reasonable, as does the Department of Justice, for the CDC, the health and data experts — health experts most importantly in our administration — to be able to have that time to evaluate. But also because they want to fight to ensure the CDC’s authority and ability to put in mandates in the future remains intact.”


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