Federal Judge Vacates Mask Order
Calling it a “victory for basic American liberty and the rule of law,” the Health Freedom Defense Fund today won a federal lawsuit challenging the federal government’s Travel Mask Mandate.
The decision, by a U.S. District Court judge in Florida, invalidated the order by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requiring that masks be worn on airplanes, trains, buses and other travel conveyances and in transportation hubs.
“Without any public comment, or serious scientific justification, CDC bureaucrats imposed a sweeping Travel Mask Mandate applying to every American over the age of two,” said HFDF President Leslie Manookian. “There are laws that set boundaries for federal agencies to protect individual freedom and the Court clearly found that CDC exceeded those limits. Unelected officials cannot do whatever they like to our personal freedoms just because they claim good motives and a desirable goal.”
The lawsuit was brought by HFDF and two individual Florida residents, specifically alleging that the CDC exceeded its statutory authority and failed to abide by the federal Administrative Procedure Act.
In her 59-page opinion, Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida detailed how the CDC circumvented the requirements requiring public comment, and how the agency failed to justify the Mask Mandate under the specific language of federal law governing health emergencies.
“The Mandate exceeded the CDC’s statutory authority, improperly involved the good cause exception to notice and comment rulemaking and failed to adequately explain its decisions,” Judge Mizell wrote.
“The court agreed with our main arguments and rejected the CDC’s justifications for the mask order,” said Daviller Law Group attorney Brant C. Hadaway. “The judge found that the CDC exceeded its statutory authority, and that the CDC’s interpretation of its authority was not entitled to deference.”
“An agency is also supposed to provide notice and comment and reasonably explain itself,” Hadaway said. “The CDC’s mask order fell short of both requirements.”
The court vacated the mask order and remanded it to the CDC.
The case is:
Health Freedom Defense Fund, Inc., et al, v. Joseph R. Biden, et al, Case No. 8:21-cv-1693 (M.D. Fla.)
Click here for link to press release.