A federal judge has struck down the Biden administration's mask mandate for public transportation.
US District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, in Florida, said that the authority of the Centres for Disease Control didn't extend to public transportation, and that the implementation of the mandate was a violation of administrative law, per AP.
In the ruling, Mizelle wrote:
"'It is indisputable that the public has a strong interest in combatting the spread of [COVID-19].'... In pursuit of that end, the CDC issued the Mask Mandate. But the Mandate exceeded the CDC's statutory authority, improperly invoked the good cause exception to notice and comment rulemaking, and failed to adequately explain its decisions. 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."
Mizelle therefore wrote that "The Court DECLARES UNLAWFUL and VACATES the Mask Mandate, remanding it to the CDC for further proceedings consistent with this order."
Florida's press secretary Christina Pushaw touted the news as a "victory for freedom."
The challenge to the mandate was brought in July by the Health Freedom Defense Fund, saying that the mandate was unlawful.
The case was ruled on by Judge Mizelle, a Trump appointee to the federal bench. Mizelle's ruling that that the CDC, under the Public Health Services Act of 1944, did not have the authority to require passengers on public transit to cover their faces because it only has authority over measures related to "inspection, fumigation, disinfection, sanitation, pest extermination [and] destruction" to mitigate disease.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.