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The mandate “exceeds the CDC’s statutory authority and violates the procedures required for agency rulemaking,” US District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle stated in a ruling on Monday in Tampa, Florida. Mizelle is an appointee of former President Donald Trump. The American Bar Association raised questions about her readiness for the post, with a majority of its standing committee rating her as “not qualified,” because of her limited trial experience at the time of her nomination.
The US requirements for masking on airlines, trains and other public transport will now expire on May 3.
This decision comes in the wake of the CDC announcing last week that it would extend the federal masking rules for airplanes and public transit another 15 days to May 3, 2022. The CDC extended the mandate, which was set to expire April 18, as a response to an increase in COVID-19 cases driven by the BA.2 sub-variant.
A federal judge in Florida overturned the US government mask mandate for public transportation set by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Biden administration, citing it as “unlawful.”
This is just the latest pushback against the federal mask mandate. Last month, several pilots, flight attendants and 21 states with Republican attorneys general also filed lawsuits against the current masking requirements. 
The suit was filed by the Health Freedom Defense Fund and can be appealed, but it’s unclear whether the government will appeal. It’s also unclear what the immediate impact will be on planes, trains and other transportation.

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