April 21, 2022

Biden DOJ Appeals FL Judge Ruling Striking Down Transportation Mask Mandate

Biden Judge

By Ernesto Sampera

April 21, 2022 Updated 8:34 A.M. ET

TAMPA (FLV) – Despite a Florida federal judge’s ruling Monday to end a mask mandate for public transportation, the Biden Administration is not giving up and has decided to appeal U.S. District Judge Kathryn Mizelle’s decision. 

Judge Mizelle’s ruling stated that President Joe Biden’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) failed to justify its decision and did not follow the proper rulemaking procedures. She ultimately sided with the two plaintiffs who filed their suit in July 2021.

Immediately following the ruling, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki expressed that “this is obviously a disappointing decision.” However, she did not state whether the administration planned on immediately appealing the Florida judge’s decision. Instead, she repeatedly deferred to the CDC’s guidance. 

In a move Wednesday, the CDC requested the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) appeal the ruling. The public health agency concluded that their mandate is legal: “CDC believes this is a lawful order, well within CDC’s legal authority to protect public health.” 

Upon receiving the CDC’s request Wednesday afternoon, the DOJ immediately filed paperwork in Tampa, notifying the court of the department’s plan to appeal. The DOJ is expected to attack what they perceive as Judge Mizelle’s “extremely narrow” reading of the 1940’s statute the CDC has relied upon to legally enact mandates throughout the pandemic. 

The Health Freedom Defense Fund is one of two plaintiffs who filed the initial suit and their president and founder, Leslie Manookian, is confident Mizelle’s ruling will stand. “We are confident that Judge Mizelle’s meticulous, thorough, and well-reasoned ruling will stand,” she said in a statement late Wednesday night. 

The case now heads to an appellate court which will evaluate the district judge’s ruling and decide whether or not her ruling was lawful and appropriate.

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