Justice Department Appeals Ruling Overturning Federal Mask Mandate
By Bill Galluccio
April 20, 2022
The Department of Justice announced that it is appealing a federal judge's decision striking down a federal mask mandate on planes and other forms of public transportation.
The decision to appeal the ruling was made at the request of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"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 CDC said in a statement. "CDC will continue to monitor public health conditions to determine whether such an order remains necessary. CDC believes this is a lawful order, well within CDC's legal authority to protect public health."
The Justice Department said that it will not request to stay U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle's ruling as it files the appeal. As a result, the mandate, which was recently extended until May 3, will not be put back in place.
"The Department continues to believe that the order requiring masking in the transportation corridor is a valid exercise of the authority Congress has given CDC to protect the public health," the Justice Department said in a statement. "That is an important authority the Department will continue to work to preserve."
Most airlines, along with ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft, updated their policies and made masks optional following Mizelle's decision.