Justice Department Files Appeal to Face Covering Lawsuit


Reuters reports attorneys filed the appeal hours before the deadline, asking to restart a mandate from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.


Appeal Says CDC Acted Within “Zone of Reasonableness”

The original decision to stop the mask mandate came from a Florida lawsuit, where a group of flyers challenged the federal government’s ability to require anyone on an airplane, in an airport, on a bus, or within any other transit hub. The judge ruled in favor of ending the mandate, claiming that the overarching rule “…exceeded the CDC’s statutory authority, improperly invoked the good cause exception to notice and comment rulemaking, and failed to adequately explain its decisions.”


While both the CDC and the White House said they would not seek to require the Transportation Security Administration to enforce the mandate’s extension through May 3, 2022, the Justice Department said they would appeal the decision. Their filing came hours before a deadline set by the U.S. Court of Appeals, arguing that the CDC and other federal authorities can require a face mask rule for the benefit of the public health.


“None of the district court’s quarrels with the CDC order comes close to showing that the CDC has acted outside the ‘zone of reasonableness,’ the appeal reads, according to Reuters. The filing continues to note in 2021, scientific evidence provided “ample support for the agency’s determination that there was good cause to make the order effective without delay.”


Although there is no current mandate, the CDC still recommends that U.S. travelers continue to wear face masks aboard indoor public transportation settings. The agency has not publicly commented on the appeal.


Appellate Filing May Not be Popular with Airlines or Flyers

If the Justice Department wins their appeal, it may not go over well with airlines or passengers. Prior to the decision, several trade groups – including the Southwest Airlines Flight Attendants’ Union and the U.S. Travel Association – asked the federal government to end the face mask requirement. According to data from the Federal Aviation Administration, unruly passenger incidents have dropped since the mask mandate ended.


Feature image courtesy: Mark König on Unsplash

Source: frugal travel guy

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