The days of mask mandates in America’s airports and on various forms of mass transportation are over, for the moment, following a ruling from a federal district court judge in Florida. The ruling was handed down from Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, a Trump appointee who clerked for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. The ruling asserted that the CDC’s mask mandate exceeds the Agency’s statutory authority.
The CDC had previously used the Public Health Services Act (PSHA) of 1944 as a pretext for instituting mask mandates. The PSHA was created to empower the CDC “to promulgate regulations aimed at ‘identifying, isolating, and destroying’ diseases”.
Mizelle’s ruling mentioned that the PHSA had rarely been invoked until the Covid-19 pandemic arrived, in which case it had been wielded to “shut down the cruise ship industry, stop landlords from evicting tenants who have not paid their rent, and requiring that persons using public conveyances wear masks.”
The ruling also invokes a 2021 decision that gives the CDC power to use such mitigation efforts as “inspection, fumigation, disinfection, sanitation, pest extermination, destruction of animals or articles found to be so infect or contaminated as to be sources of dangerous infection to human beings, and other measures’.”
The Biden administration and the CDC have deemed that masking falls under “sanitation.” Mizelle objected to this. “The context of [the statute] indicates that ‘sanitation’ and ‘other measures’ refer to measures that clean something, not ones that keep something clean,” wrote the judge in her ruling. Mizelle added that “wearing a mask cleans nothing”.
Proponents of continued masking did not handle the news well.
The judge is a Trump appointee who was rated unqualified when nominated & had never tried a case. She clerked for Justice Thomas. Elections matter in more ways than one. This injunction will have nationwide effect-at least until the 11th Cir (hopefully) reverses. https://t.co/hKuuc44isg
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) April 18, 2022
Today a federal judge called it overreach for US health officials to require masks on airplanes & other public transit, and no matter how you feel about masks, you should be really, really concerned that the Courts are effectively taking away power from the federal government.
— Lindsay Sabadosa (@SabadosaMA) April 18, 2022
Judge who voided CDC mask mandate on transportation is a Lakeland, Fla. native whom @ABANews said was “not qualified” to serve as a federal judge.
“Her integrity and demeanor…simply do not compensate for the short time she has actually practiced law.”https://t.co/tVnUAnf08L
— Evan Donovan (@EvanDonovan) April 18, 2022
Those most disturbed by the transportation mandate ruling mention that the current federal judiciary system is a problem, adding that the judges responsible for handing down such rulings are unelected and are serving lifetime appointments. However, they do not mention that the CDC, as well as other bureaucratic agencies, are also staffed with unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats.
— Defiant L’s (@DefiantLs) April 18, 2022