Twenty-one Republican state attorney generals filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the Brandon administration to nullify the rule issued by the CDC that requires the use of face masks on planes and other public transportation.
The State of Florida lead the multi-state lawsuit, announced by Gov. Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody, and was filed in the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division.
“The suit largely argues the mandate is a federal violation of state “sovereignty” since states and localities are left to enforce the mandate on buses and other forms of public transit, while numerous Republican governors have enacted bans on mask requirements,” according to Forbes.
Twenty-one states on Tuesday sued the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal agencies to end the country’s much-debated mask mandate on public transportation.
“Florida has led the nation in standing up to misguided federal government policies and fighting back against heavy-handed mandates that have no scientific backing,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a press release announcing the action. “If politicians and celebrities can attend the Super Bowl unmasked, every U.S. citizen should have the right to fly unmasked. It is well past time to get rid of this unnecessary mandate and get back to normal life.”
The complaint — which names as defendants the CDC, the federal Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, as well as the heads of each agency — seeks to end the mandate on public transportation and establish a permanent injunction against its enforcement.
“Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has made ‘unprecedented assertion[s] of power,’” the lawsuit states.
The CDC declined to comment. TSA, HHS and DHS did not respond to a request for comment.
Florida is joined in the suit by Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.
“It’s long past time to alleviate some of the pressure on travelers and those working in the travel industry,” Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said in a statement.
Earlier this month, the US Senate just passed Republican Senator Rand Paul’s repeal of the mask mandate on public transportation. The vote passed: Yea 57–NAY 40. Brandon’s administration was reportedly threatening to veto the bill.
Last week, the CEOs of American Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and other major carriers sent a letter to Brandon urging him to end federal mask mandates on airplanes as well as international pre-departure testing requirements. Citing scientific data, the airlines implore Brandon to lift the travel restrictions on airlines so the US travel and tourism sectors no longer needlessly struggle.