Biden Admin Will 'Likely' Appeal Court Decision Ending Mask Mandate on Public Transportation, HHS Sec Says


Update: The Justice Department announced in a statement that it will appeal Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle’s ruling overturning the public transportation mask mandate if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes the requirement is still necessary. DOJ spokesman Anthony Coley said the order was a “valid exercise of the authority Congress has given CDC” and an “important authority the Department will continue to work to preserve.”

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said Tuesday the Biden administration will likely appeal a decision by a federal judge ending the public transportation mask mandate.

“We will respect the ruling, but as I say: I’ll respect the ruling, but I’ll follow the science,” Becerra said at a news conference with Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak.

“We are right now in the process of deciding, and we likely will appeal that ruling. Stay tuned,” he added.

On Monday, federal district court Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle from Tampa, Florida, voided the national mask mandate.

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“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, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, wrote in her order, The Associated Press reported.

Earlier in the day while traveling in New Hampshire, President Joe Biden was asked if people should wear masks on a plane.

“That’s up to them,” he responded.

A reporter followed up, questioning whether the Department of Justice would appeal Mizelle’s ruling.

“I haven’t spoken to the CDC yet,” Biden answered.

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Pressed later on his trip about the possibility of appealing, the president said, “I haven’t gotten any brief from my CDC. I don’t know. We’re following the science.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki offered a similar response to reporters Tuesday afternoon.

“Agencies are reviewing … next steps, including the Department of Justice,” she said. “Traditionally following a court decision, that can take a couple of days.”

“We’ve said from the start that our COVID response should be guided by the science and data and by experts,” Psaki added.

The Transportation Security Administration announced in a Monday statement it would not be enforcing the mask mandate.

“Due to today’s court ruling, effective immediately,” the agency said, “TSA will no longer enforce its Security Directives and Emergency Amendment requiring mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs.”

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith