Updated: Mar 3
After a federal district court found that the Center for Disease Control’s rule requiring masks on airplanes exceeded the CDC’s legal authority, the Biden administration has voluntarily given up defending the rule in other pending cases.
Why is it important to challenge laws in court? Why is it important just to speak out against laws you dislike? Although it may seem too simple, these are often the ways to make real change. Thanks to the efforts of a few people who decided to pursue a legal challenge against the federal mandate requiring masks on flights, on Monday, April 18, a federal court in Florida struck down the requirement. Because of the sheer number of legal organizations challenging the rule, and the overwhelming number of individuals speaking out against masks, the Biden administration opted not to enforce the mask mandate at the current time. This is a truly significant milestone, one that shows the profound impact that sustained efforts at law can have. Consistent legal challenges matter. Continued diligence matters. Persistent expressions of dissatisfaction with the status quo matter. While this case may have been the first to have a ruling, the fact that a number of additional challenges across the country that are still pending (and the Biden administration’s opting not to continue to fight them) indicates either that the administration does not believe it can win in court or that it has recognized the writing on the wall – Americans do not support the mask mandate. The decision to stop the enforcement of the mandate shows that the public sentiment and the legal process will win out. This recent legal victory appears to have finally pressed the message home to the administration, and it should encourage others to continue to fight diligently for American liberties. While the district court’s order is fairly long, its overall decision is simple: The mandate is improper, for a variety of reasons. You can read the full order here. This is not the first COVID-19 related federal mandate that has been struck down. It is, however, a reminder that it is absolutely essential that we the people use our liberty to challenge the actions of our leaders in court when necessary to protect our rights and freedoms.