Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, a U.S. District Judge in the Middle District of Florida and a Donald Trump appointee, ruled in favour of the Health Freedom Defense Fund’s legal challenge against the federal government's mask mandate on airlines. The suit was first filed in July 2021.
“It is indisputable that the public has a strong interest in combating the spread of Covid-19,” Mizelle wrote. “In pursuit of that end, the CDC issued the mask mandate. But the mandate exceeded the CDC statutory authority, improperly invoked the good cause exception to notice and comment rulemaking, and failed to adequately explain its decisions. 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."
Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis called the mandate “misery” in a tweet sent Monday afternoon.
Mizelle previously clerked for conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
According to Newsweek:
She was appointed to the position by Trump in August 2020 and was confirmed by the Senate three months later, with 49 Republicans voting in her support and 41 Democrats voting against her. Mizelle was appointed to the bench at 33, making her one of the youngest federal judges in the nation."
In Canada, not only are masks required on flights and inside airports, unvaccinated Canadians are prohibited from commercial air travel and trains.
Former Newfoundland Premier Brian Peckford is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit that claims the federal government's COVID-19 vaccine requirement for air travel is unconstitutional and infringes on all Canadian's Charter rights. Peckford, who now lives in Parksville, B.C., helped drafted Canada's Constitution.
Read Mizell's historic decision here.