Capitol Correspondence - 04.26.22

Federal Court Strikes Down Travel Mask Mandate, DOJ Appeals

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On Monday, April 18, a federal district court in Florida in the case Health Freedom Defense Fund Inc, et. al. v. Biden, et. al. struck down the federal mask mandate that applies to travel. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it was appealing that court decision, saying “The Department of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) disagree with the district court’s decision and will appeal, subject to CDC’s conclusion that the order remains necessary for public health. 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. That is an important authority the Department will continue to work to preserve.”

The decision to appeal was a reaction to the CDC’s response to the district court’s decision, in which the CDC reiterated that the mandate was still necessary to protect travelers’ health. The district court’s injunction against the mandate remains in place for now while the litigation is ongoing.