Twenty-three attorneys general back suit to end CDC mask mandates for public transportation

"The CDC rule is arbitrary and capricious with numerous exceptions the agency did not explain or justify," wrote Brnovich

Updated: August 9, 2022 - 5:55pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

A group of state attorneys general filed an amicus brief in support of a court decision to end the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's mask mandate for public transportation as the Biden administration seeks its restoration.

A federal judge in April ruled that the mandate was unlawful because the CDC lacked the statutory authority to impose it and the agency failed to adequately justify the measure.

The Biden Department of Justice in late May formally asked an appeals court to overturn the ruling on the grounds that CDC data from 2021 gave "ample support for the agency's determination that there was good cause to make the order effective without delay." Moreover, the DOJ asserted that the CDC did have the authority to initially issue the mask requirement.

In a Tuesday press release, Arizona Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich argued that "President Biden’s CDC mask mandate exceeds its authority and infringes on the ability of state leaders to enact their own public health rules."

"The CDC claims it has authority to issue a mask mandate in its power to require 'sanitation' measures under 42 U.S.C. § 264(a)," the Brnovich statement read. "However, the statute says the CDC cannot demand that domestic travelers be examined without evidence that they are carrying disease. The brief argues that the mandate is invalid because it failed to go through notice and comment procedures."

"The CDC rule is arbitrary and capricious with numerous exceptions the agency did not explain or justify," the attorney general asserted.

Other attorneys general signatories to the brief, including Missouri Republican Eric Schmitt, also commented. Schmitt tweeted "Biden and the Covid tyrants are at it again. They want forced masking on airplanes again. No way. Missouri is helping hold the line."

Indiana Republican Attorney General Todd Rokita warned that mask mandates could return to the country and called on the courts to firmly reject CDC authority to reinstate such a requirement, tweeting, "Mask mandates might seem like a thing of the past, but courts still must state clearly that the CDC lacks statutory authority to issue a nationwide mask mandate (such as for buses, planes, transportation hubs, etc.)."

Just the News Spotlight