On Tuesday, 21 states filed a lawsuit against the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) demanding that the federal agency bring an end to the ongoing mask mandate on public transit.
ABC News reports that the suit was first announced by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) and Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody (R-Fla.), and was filed in a federal court in Tampa. The suit argues that the transit mandate, which encompasses plaines, ferries, trains, and other forms of public transportation, exceeds the authority of the CDC.
The CDC’s transit mandate, first implemented on February 1st, 2021, demands “the wearing of masks by people on public transportation conveyances or on the premises of transportation hubs.” Although the mandate has been extended to April 18th, there have been suggestions that the CDC may begin scaling back the requirements of the mandate before then.
But nevertheless, the lawsuit seeks to completely block the mandate from being enforced any longer.
“It is well past time to get rid of this unnecessary mandate and get back to normal life,” said DeSantis. Attorney General Moody added that the ongoing mandates “are frustrating travelers and causing chaos on public transportation.”
The 20 other states joining Florida in the lawsuit are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia.
In addition to the state-led lawsuit, there have been several other suits filed against the CDC regarding the transit mandate by those who are most directly affected by it. Earlier this month, two separate lawsuits were filed by a group of airline pilots and a group of flight attendants, for the same purpose of blocking the mandate.