“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.”