TAMPA, Florida (LifeSiteNews) — Americans will no longer be required to wear masks on airplanes thanks to a ruling handed down Monday by a Florida-based federal judge.
U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, a Trump-appointee who previously clerked for conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, struck down the CDC mask mandate for public transportation on April 18, calling the controversial rule “unlawful.”
“Because ‘our system does not permit agencies to act unlawfully even in the pursuit of desirable ends,’ the court declares unlawful and vacates the mask mandate,” Mizelle wrote in her 59-page ruling, which voided the mandate just days after the CDC had elected to extend it for another 15 days.
I encourage everyone to read US District Judge Kathryn Mizelle’s 59-page ruling in favor of the plaintiffs in striking down the federal transit mask mandate. It’s thoughtful and evidence-based: https://t.co/RiFYxdUCGc @DrJBhattacharya @adamcarolla @ZDoggMD @afshineemrani
— Houman David Hemmati, MD, PhD (@houmanhemmati) April 18, 2022
RELATED: Masks ‘don’t add much, if anything,’ to safety, airline CEOs tell Congress
The district court judge’s decision came in response to a lawsuit filed in July, 2021 by the nonprofit Health Freedom Defense Fund (HFDF), which has launched a bevy of lawsuits challenging coercive COVID-19 mandates and requirements since last year.
HFDF has called the Monday ruling a “victory for basic American liberty and the rule of law.”
“Without any public comment, or serious scientific justification, CDC bureaucrats imposed a sweeping Travel Mask Mandate applying to every American over the age of two,” HFDF President Leslie Manookian explained in a press release.
“There are laws that set boundaries for federal agencies to protect individual freedom, and the Court clearly found that CDC exceeded those limits,” Manookian added. “Unelected officials cannot do whatever they like to our personal freedoms just because they claim good motives and a desirable goal.”
The New York Post noted that the HFDF’s lawsuit was filed “on behalf of two women who claimed that wearing masks on airplanes triggered or exacerbated anxiety and panic attacks.”
RELATED: 47 studies confirm ineffectiveness of masks for COVID and 32 more confirm their negative health effects
Mizelle stated in her ruling that “the only remedy was to vacate the rule entirely because it would be impossible to end it solely for the two plaintiffs, writing that ‘a limited remedy would be no remedy at all.’”
Within hours of the court’s decision, major U.S. airlines including United, Southwest, American, and Alaska, released statements affirming that their mask mandates had been lifted, making mask-wearing optional for all domestic flights. Uber, Amtrak, and other public transportation companies have also announced they will scrap their mask rules.
The entire country has seen what happens when men enter women's sports.
Lia Thomas is a biological male, but he was nonetheless allowed swim against elite female competitors to win an NCAA Freestyle competition, much to the disappointment of those women who had trained so hard to compete.
SIGN THE PETITION TO BAN MALES FROM WOMEN'S SPORTS TODAY
Males have a natural advantage over females in the vast majority of sports, so allowing them to enter women's sports can:
- crush the motivation of the biological girls who have worked hard to compete on a level playing field
- put females into harm's way in contact sports and locker rooms
- deprive women of their right to fairly compete for college scholarships and many other accolades
We all know the spectacle of Lia Thomas defeating those female swimmers was a charade, a mockery of women's sports, but now it's time to do something about it.
Please SIGN this urgent petition calling on members of Congress to pass a law banning the participation of biological males in women's sports.
This is not just about ensuring biological girls and women can compete fairly and win in their chosen sports, but it's also a major safety issue in contact sports and the dangerous use of women's locker rooms by gender-confused males.
Some of you will remember Fallon Fox, the male MMA fighter who claimed to be a woman and left his female opponent concussed and with a fractured skull.
Fox later announced on social media that he enjoys "smacking up" women who "talk transphobic nonsense."
Any reasonable person knows men shouldn't compete against women, but some people are too politically correct to take a stand and protect girls and women from this madness.
It's now time to join the growing pushback against the gender-confused lobby and their dangerous beliefs that have literally left some female competitors in the hospital.
Please SIGN this common sense petition calling on Congress to ban all males from competing in women's sport.
Future generations will look back with gratitude on those who stood on the right side of history, defending women from these very confused males.
Nothing less than a federal ban on biological males forcing their way into women's sport is enough, so this petition will be sent to all members of Congress demanding legislative action.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
'Olympians, coaches, swimmers write open letter demanding NCAA protect women’s sports' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/olympians-coaches-swimmers-write-open-letter-demanding-ncaa-protect-womens-sports/
'Female swimmer torches NCAA after losing spot to William ‘Lia’ Thomas: ‘Make the right changes’' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/female-swimmer-nudged-out-of-competition-by-william-lia-thomas-torches-ncaa-in-open-letter/
'Rep. Boebert files resolution declaring female runner-up to ‘Lia’ Thomas the rightful winner' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/boebert-leads-resolution-to-declare-female-runner-up-to-lia-thomas-the-rightful-winner/
**Photo Credit: Fox News/YouTube screenshot
In its April 18 press release, Southwest Airlines said that, starting Monday, employees and customers “will be able to choose whether they would like to wear a mask, and we encourage individuals to make the best decision to support their personal wellbeing.”
Similarly, United affirmed that “[e]ffective immediately, masks are no longer required at United on domestic flights, select international flights (dependent upon the arrival country’s mask requirements) or at U.S. airports,” adding that “employees are no longer required to wear a mask” and will “no longer have to enforce a mask requirement for most of the flying public.”
Masks are no longer required on domestic flights, select international flights (dependent upon the arrival country’s requirements) or at U.S. airports. More comfortable keeping yours on? Go right ahead… the choice is yours (you look dino-mite either way)! pic.twitter.com/hwq678v55d
— United Airlines (@united) April 18, 2022
Videos shared on social media have shown airplane passengers responding with applause following announcements from crew members that masks would no longer be required.
Pilot announces an end to Biden’s Mask Mandate, the reaction from everyone on the plane says it all.
This is awesome 🇺🇸
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) April 19, 2022
The Biden administration initially signaled it was not happy with the decision to void the mandate, giving rise to speculation they might move to challenge the ruling.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded to the rollback of the mask rule by calling the decision “disappointing,” and urged travelers to continue masking up on airplanes regardless of the ruling.
Here’s Jenn Psaki attempting to defend the airplane mask mandate to @pdoocy. Spoiler: it doesn’t go well because the airplane mask mandate is indefensible: pic.twitter.com/H7kq49TWPK
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) April 18, 2022
Hours later, a Biden administration official noted the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) would no longer enforce the federal mask mandate thanks to the Florida judge’s ruling, but said that federal agencies are “assessing potential next steps.”
“The agencies are reviewing the decision and assessing potential next steps,” the official said, according to The Hill. “In the meantime, today’s court decision means CDC’s public transportation masking order is not in effect at this time.”
“Therefore, TSA will not enforce its Security Directives and Emergency Amendment requiring mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs at this time,” the official added.
Despite the Biden administration’s evident disappointment with seeing the mask mandate withdrawn, the rule had become increasingly controversial over the past months, with numerous states, lawmakers, and even airline executives calling on the federal government to drop the rule.
Last month, airline industry executives from 10 major U.S. airlines joined forces to craft a letter urging the Biden administration to drop its “now-outdated” mask mandate for airports and airplanes.
RELATED: CEOs of 10 major US airlines call on Biden to drop ‘outdated’ mask mandate for planes, airports
“It makes no sense that people are still required to wear masks on airplanes, yet are allowed to congregate in crowded restaurants, schools and at sporting events without masks, despite none of these venues having the protective air filtration system that aircraft do,” the executives wrote.
The letter directed to President Biden came after the CEOs of Southwest Airlines and American Airlines testified in a December Senate committee hearing that masks did little, if anything, to stop the spread of COVID-19 on planes.
Meanwhile, in a bipartisan rebuke last month, the U.S. Senate voted 57-40 against the ongoing federal mask mandate for public transportation after Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky introduced a resolution calling for an immediate end to the requirement.
Late last month, Florida’s Attorney General Ashley Moody led 20 other states in filing a federal lawsuit against the Biden administration over the CDC mandate.
RELATED: Florida, 20 other states sue Biden administration to drop federal mask mandates
“We’ve been very clear that we want people to be able to make their own decisions. We don’t believe in COVID theater,” Florida Gov. DeSantis said during a press conference, adding that “forcing people to wear masks on airplanes” isn’t “something that’s grounded in any science.”