“Great to see a federal judge in Florida follow the law and reject the Biden transportation mask mandate,” DeSantis said on social media following news of the ruling. “Both airline employees and passengers deserve to have this misery end”:
His remark follows a ruling from Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle in Tampa, who voided the Biden administration’s national mask mandate, noting that a “limited remedy would be no remedy at all.”
“Because our system does not permit agencies to act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends, the court declares unlawful and vacates the mask mandate,” she wrote as part of her 59-page ruling. The ruling comes days after the Biden administration extended the federal mask mandate for federal transportation yet again, as it was set to expire Monday, April 18, prior to their two-week extension:
The lawsuit was filed in July 2021 by two plaintiffs and the Health Freedom Defense Fund, described in the judge’s order as a nonprofit group that “opposes laws and regulations that force individuals to submit to the administration of medical products, procedures and devices against their will.”
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There was no immediate word on whether the government will appeal.
DeSantis has long called for the end of the federal mask requirement, noting last week that the two-week extension was “the Biden equivalent of continuing the beatings until morale improves.”
“Biden’s extension of the transportation mask mandate simply prolongs the misery that passengers and flight attendants are being forced to endure. This is not evidence based, but simply more COVID theater,” he said at the time, reminding Americans that Florida and other states were taking legal action:
Last month, DeSantis and Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody (R) announced a lawsuit over the Biden administration’s extended mask mandate on planes and at transportation hubs. Twenty other states joined the lawsuit as well.
“This rule, this order is completely outside the bounds of the scope of federal power; as we have argued successfully in numerous other cases, the CDC and the federal government and the Biden administration never had the power to issue this order originally,” Moody said at the time.
“This must be lifted,” Moody said at the time.