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US Government Fighting to Vacate Ruling that Made Mask Mandates Illegal

by Donald Wood
Last updated: 9:00 AM ET, Wed May 24, 2023

The United States government is asking a court to strike
down a ruling that made it unlawful to require masks on public modes of
transportation during the coronavirus pandemic since the national emergency is
now over.

According to Reuters.com,
the U.S. Justice Department is working to vacate a decision from January by a three-judge
panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals that said the U.S. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lacked legal authority to issue a
nationwide travel mask mandate to combat COVID-19.

The CDC initially issued the mandate in January 2021 that
required masks on airplanes, buses, trains, ride-sharing services, airports,
and other transportation hubs.

While the Department of Justice said removing the mandate
was needed after Congress terminated the national emergency, lawyers representing
the plaintiffs who originally filed the lawsuit said the decision should not be

The five leading plaintiffs in the case argued that if
struck down, the government could implement mask mandates in the future without
facing scrutiny from the federal court system.

Officials from the Justice Department argued that if the
case is not vacated, the court should “reverse the judgment on the merits or at
a minimum confine relief to the five individuals who filed suit.”

Earlier this month, U.S. President Joe Biden and health
officials in his administration ended COVID-19
vaccination requirements
for international travelers and federal workers
when the public health emergency ended.

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