Almost two dozen states filed a lawsuit seeking to end the Biden administration’s extension of its public transportation mask mandate.
Commuters have been forced to wear masks over their mouths and noses on all forms of public transportation for over a year. The TSA extended the mandate, originally set to expire in March, until at least April 18th despite plummeting COVID rates.
The lawsuit, filed by 21 state attorneys in federal court, maintains that the mandate is an unnecessary precaution that endures while other restrictions are eased or eliminated. They also suggest it is unlawful, relying on an overly broad interpretation of an emergency powers statute. That interpretation has already been struck down by the Supreme Court when it was used to halt evictions federally last year.
“Faced with a government that displays outright disdain for the limits on its power—especially when it comes to the Covid-19 pandemic—Plaintiffs seek vacatur of that mask mandate and a permanent injunction against its enforcement,” the states said in the filing.
Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody are leading the suit. Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia joined as plaintiffs.
The TSA and CDC did not immediately respond to requests for comment.