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DOJ Appeals Face Mask Lawsuit, Meaning Mandate Could Come Back

At the request of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Justice is appealing the decision to end the national public transportation face mask mandate.
The U.S. Department of Justice will take on the case that removed the face covering mandate from public transportation, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say there is still a need to wear them in tightly enclosed spaces.


The Justice Department announced their plans to appeal on social media, after it was formally requested by the CDC on Wednesday, April 20, 2022.


Request Comes “To Protect CDC’s Public Health Authority”

After over a year in effect across multiple extensions, a U.S. District Court in Florida knocked down the national transportation face mask mandate as the result of a lawsuit filed by the Health Freedom Defense Fund and two other individuals. Hours after the decision, every major U.S. carrier announced they would no longer require face coverings on flights, while the Transportation Security Administration said they wouldn’t enforce the previous CDC order.


One day after the decision, the Justice Department said they disagreed with the decision, but would only formally appeal the order at the recommendation of the CDC. By Wednesday, the CDC said face coverings are still needed to protect travelers – especially in tightly confined spaces like aircraft and airports.


“To protect CDC’s public health authority beyond the ongoing assessment announced last week, CDC has asked DOJ to proceed with an appeal in Health Freedom Defense Fund, Inc., et al., v. Biden, et al.,” the CDC said in a statement, as published by The Hill. “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 decision to appeal comes as COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the U.S. According to the CDC, 85% of new infections among Americans are attributed to the Omicron BA.2 subvariant. As of April 19, 2022, the agency notes that new infections continue to trend upward, with the seven-day moving average cases rising to over 40,000.


The Justice Department will appeal the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. As of press time, a formal case filing has not appeared in the Public Access to Court Electronic Records system.


Airlines Continue to Welcome Customers Without Masks

While the decision is under appeal, airlines are continuing to market the safety of flights for flyers who no longer wish to wear a face covering. On Twitter, United Airlines shared a short video explaining the benefits of HEPA air filters aboard flights “whether you choose to wear a mask or not.”




Feature image courtesy: Daniel Norris via Unsplash

AADFW April 28, 2022

If the mask mandate is reinstated, it will be very important for everyone who doesn't support it to completely ignore it. It's easy to force compliance on a few, but virtually impossible to force it on a majority. 

c502cid April 28, 2022

You people who support endless mask mandates are the selfish ones. Millions of birds and fish are going to die because of your selfishness, you don't care one bit about the long term effect of your pure desire to make it all about you. The plastic pollution alone is a death sentence for so many other creatures of this planet. You disgust me.

Bighits April 23, 2022

What most of the people here are neglecting to focus on is the fact that you can still wear whatever you need to protect yourself from covid  Get on with your lives and stop making this political. Masks are optional and always should have been. You must get over this and remember that you always have the option available to help yourself to mask up or suit up or whatever. The CDC has become political and if you don't see that then you are in denial. Facts about airline air system filtration have proven to be safer than being in your own home.

Daremo999 April 21, 2022

The DOJ is fighting it not to reinstate the mask mandate, but to ensure the CDC has the power to create similar rules in the future if they are needed.

Loose Cannon April 21, 2022

There is time involved with the appeal. Good luck trying to reimpose the mask mandate if the court allows it.