This story is breaking and will be updated as more information becomes available.
On Monday, a federal judge in Florida struck down the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s mask mandate for travel on planes, trains, buses, and transportation hubs.
The CDC had recently extended the order for 15 days, through May 3rd.
The Hill reports:
Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, an appointee of former President Trump, wrote that the CDC exceeded its statutory authority with the order.
Mizelle added that the CDC had also failed to follow the rulemaking processes laid out in law and provide a sufficient justification for its mandate.
Steve Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas, tweeted that airports and travel should be at the core of the CDC’s legal authority to prevent the spread of disease.
“This is both a big deal and a truly preposterous (nationwide) injunction,” he wrote of the order. “The CDC’s statutory authority is specifically directed at preventing the spread of communicable diseases across state lines. Where else is such spread more likely to occur than transport hubs like airports?”
In her ruling, Judge Mizelle said the mandate was unlawful because it exceeded the statutory authority of the CDC and because its implementation violated administrative law.
It’s not yet clear how quickly the ruling will be implemented at airports and other travel hubs or if the Justice Department will file an appeal in an attempt to block the ruling from taking effect.