Update: United Airlines released a new statement after the publication of this story saying that masks are no longer required on flights.
Two major U.S. airlines have announced that they will continue to enforce Democrat President Joe Biden’s mask mandate on public transportation despite a federal judge ruling on Monday that the mandate was “unlawful” and that it must be “terminate[d].”
“Both United and American Airlines tell @ABC they will continue to require masks on board aircraft for customers and employees, ‘despite the decision by a federal judge on Monday that struck down the federal mask mandate’ as they await on more guidance from the US government,” The Denver Channel, a local ABC News affiliate, tweeted.
NEW: Both United and American Airlines tell @ABC they will continue to require masks on board aircraft for customers and employees, "despite the decision by a federal judge on Monday that struck down the federal mask mandate” as they await on more guidance from the US government.
— Denver7 News (@DenverChannel) April 18, 2022
After the publication of this report, United released a new statement saying, “Effective immediately, masks are no longer required at United on domestic flights, select international flights (dependent upon the arrival country’s mask requirements) or at U.S. airports.”
NEW FROM UNITED AIRLINES: “Effective immediately, masks are no longer required at United on domestic flights, select international flights (dependent upon the arrival country’s mask requirements) or at U.S. airports.”
— Pete Muntean (@petemuntean) April 18, 2022
The announcement from the two airlines comes after 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.”
Numerous top Republican politicians praised the ruling from Mizelle, who clerked for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and was appointed to U.S. District Court by former President Donald Trump.
“Great to see a federal judge in Florida follow the law and reject the Biden transportation mask mandate,” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) wrote on Twitter. “Both airline employees and passengers deserve to have this misery end.”
“Great news—a federal judge struck down Biden’s stupid transportation mask mandate,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) tweeted. “This is a win for common sense and a crushing loss for the Democrats’ obsession with forcing Americans to wear masks forever. Also, why wasn’t Biden wearing a mask as he followed the Easter Bunny around the White House lawn? Biden will be 80 in a few months—if he thinks masks are necessary, he should wear one.”
This report has been updated to include additional information after publication.