By Corinne Murdock |
Republican Reps. Paul Gosar (AZ-04) and Andy Biggs (AZ-05) joined an amicus brief with 15 other lawmakers to prevent future airplane mask mandates.
Specifically, the lawmakers challenged the CDC’s legal authority to issue a mask mandate for airplane travel in Health Freedom Defense Fund v. Biden. They contested that Congress hadn’t and couldn’t grant the CDC the authority for such a mandate.
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY-04) led the amicus brief, joined by Biggs and Republican Reps. Barry Moore (AL-02), Lauren Boebert (CO-03), Bill Posey (FL-08), Brian Mast (FL-18), Andrew Clyde (GA-09), Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA-14), Matt Rosendale (MT), Dan Bishop (NC-09), Warren Davidson (OH-08), Ralph Norman (SC-05), Chip Roy (TX-21), Bob Good (VA-05), and Alex Mooney (WV-02).
Sen. Rand Paul (KY) also joined the amicus brief. These Congress members represent 13 different states.
The case is before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals currently.
The Florida Middle District Court ruled against the Biden administration in April, finding that the CDC exceeded its statutory authority and failed to follow notice and comment rulemaking. Following the loss, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a joint statement with the CDC pledging an appeal of the ruling.
“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,” stated the DOJ.
The lawsuit follows legislative attempts to end the mandate and prevent future ones, and years of aggressive crackdowns on resistance to mask-wearing on flights.
Last July, Biggs and Paul introduced legislation to prohibit mask mandates for public transportation. Neither version of the legislation made it to a committee in the Democratic-controlled Congress.
For two years, airlines put passengers who refused to mask up on their “no-fly list.” In February, Delta Airlines asked other airlines to share their no-fly lists to expand its own.
Negative public response to the move caused the company to backtrack. By April, Delta began removing people who refused to adhere to masking requirements from its no-fly list.
Last December, the CEO of Southwest Airlines testified to the Senate his doubts about masks’ ability to prevent COVID-19 transmission in airplanes. The fully vaccinated, double-boosted CEO caught COVID-19 a day after that testimony.