The U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday appealed a Florida federal judge’s ruling that struck down a requirement that travelers wear masks in airports and on planes, trains and buses. Justice Department attorneys filed a notice of appealing the decision to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The notice came two days after the ruling by Tampa-based U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, who wrote that the controversial mask requirement exceeded the legal authority of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As is common, the notice of appeal did not detail arguments that the Justice Department will make at the Atlanta-based appeals court.
But on Tuesday, the Justice Department said it would appeal if the CDC decided that the mask requirement “remains necessary for public health” amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Department (of Justice) continues to believe that the order requiring masking in the transportation corridor is a valid exercise of the authority Congress has given CDC to protect the public health,” the department said in a statement Tuesday. “That is an important authority the department will continue to work to preserve.”