The Biden administration responded to the news that a federal judge in Florida had voided Democrat President Joe Biden’s national mask mandate on public transportation by saying that the mandate was no longer effective, even while the administration considers its options.
“The agencies are reviewing the decision and assessing potential next steps,” an administration official said in a statement. “In the meantime, today’s court decision means CDC’s public transportation masking order is not in effect at this time. Therefore, TSA will not enforce its Security Directives and Emergency Amendment requiring mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs at this time. CDC recommends that people continue to wear masks in indoor public transportation settings.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during Monday’s press conference that federal officials from relevant agencies were “reviewing” the judge’s ruling “as we speak.”
“So, we would say to anyone sitting out there: We’d recommend you wear masks on the airplane. And then as soon as we can provide an update from here hopefully soon,” Psaki said. “The CDC recommended continuing the order for additional time, two weeks, to be able to access the latest science in keeping with his responsibility to protect the American people. So this is obviously a disappointing decision.”
U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle for the Middle District of Florida ruled earlier in the day that the mandate was unlawful because the mandate “exceeded the CDC’s statutory authority, improperly invoked the good cause exception to notice and comment rulemaking, and failed to adequately explain its decisions.”
The ruling said that Court declared the mandate to be unlawful because “our system does not permit agencies to act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends.”
“The Court DECLARES UNLAWFUL and VACATES the Mask Mandate, remanding it to the CDC for further proceedings consistent with this order,” Mizelle ordered. “The Court directs the Clerk to TERMINATE President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., as a Defendant to this action, to ENTER final judgment in favor of Plaintiffs as prescribed in this order, and to CLOSE this case.”
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This is a developing news story; refresh the page for updates.