A federal judge in Florida has ruled that a US government order mandating people to wear masks on public transportation is unlawful.
Ruling on Monday, Kathryn Kimball Mizelle said the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had exceeded its jurisdiction with the order, adding that the health agency also did not seek public feedback.
In her 59-page ruling, Mizelle said the only remedy was to vacate the rule entirely across the country because it would be impossible to end it for the limited group of people who objected in the lawsuit.
The judge said “a limited remedy would be no remedy at all” and that the courts have full authority to make a decision such as this — even if the goals of the CDC in fighting the virus are laudable.
“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,” she wrote.
US health officials, had last week, extended by 15 days the mandate requiring travellers to wear masks on aircraft, trains, and taxis, citing the need for more time to examine the impact of a recent increase in COVID-19 cases.