Biden to appeal court ruling striking down COVID mask mandate on planes, trains, and transit

"If CDC concludes that a mandatory order remains necessary... the Department of Justice will appeal the district court’s decision," the spokesman said.

Updated: April 19, 2022 - 7:09pm

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The Department of Justice on Tuesday announced that if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determines masks to be necessary, it will appeal the Florida judge's decision striking down the Biden administration's COVID-19 mask mandate on transportation.

The DOJ and the CDC "disagree with the district court’s decision," Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley wrote in a press release

The executive branch "will appeal, subject to CDC’s conclusion that the order remains necessary for public health," he added.

On Monday, Florida Federal Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle ruled that the mask requirement on transportation such as planes was unconstitutional because it exceeded the CDC's authority and the health agency did not provide reasoning behind the mandate.

Hours later, the four largest airlines in the U.S. – United AirlinesDeltaSouthwest Airlines, and American Airlines – announced that they were dropping the mask requirements for passengers and employees.

"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," Coley wrote.

"On April 13, 2022, before the district court’s decision, CDC explained that the order would remain in effect while it assessed current public health conditions, and that the Transportation Security Administration would extend its directive implementing the order until May 3 to facilitate CDC’s assessment," he said.

"If CDC concludes that a mandatory order remains necessary for the public’s health after that assessment, the Department of Justice will appeal the district court’s decision," the spokesman concluded.