Led by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, 20 other Republican state attorneys general last week filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's continued mask mandate on public transportation, including on airplanes. The complaint seeks to end the mask mandates as well as establish a permanent injunction against enforcement of the mandate; it also argues that the CDC's mask mandate exceeds the CDC's authority.
In a published statement, AG Moody described the Biden administration's travel policies as "shortsighted, heavy-handed and unlawful" and argued those policies "are frustrating travelers and causing chaos on public transportation."
She continued: "It's long past time to alleviate some of the pressure on travelers and those working in the travel industry by immediately ending Biden's unlawful public transportation mandates." She was backed by Governor Ron DeSantis, who echoed his AG's comments:
DeSantis: "Florida has led the nation in standing up to misguided federal government policies and fighting back against heavy-handed mandates that have no scientific backing …. It is well past time to get rid of this unnecessary mandate and get back to normal life."
Rob Chambers, vice president of policy and legislative affairs for American Family Association, contends the "overwhelming majority" of people know masks simply do not work, as touted by the CDC.
"So, it begs the question: If they don't work, then why is the government mandating these things?" he asks.
Chambers emphasizes another point made by Florida's Republican governor: "If people can go to the Super Bowl and not wear a mask, then why should they be required to be wearing masks on the airplane? It's hypocritical – but beyond that, it's unscientific. The masks do not work; it's scientifically proven."
He concludes by predicting that "in a world of science and rationalism … the court is going to rule in favor of these 21 states."
Joining Attorney General Moody in the complaint are the attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.
The existing mandate order was set to expire on March 18, but the CDC extended it until April 18. The multistate complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
Editor's Note: The American Family Association is the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates AFN.net.