21 states sue Biden administration to end transportation mask mandate

cigaretteman

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Surprisingly, Iowa isn't one of them:

Twenty-one states filed suit Tuesday seeking an immediate end to a federal mandate that requires people to wear masks when traveling on airplanes, buses, subways and other modes of public transportation.

The effort in mostly Republican-led states is the latest effort seeking to abolish the mandate, put into place in February 2021, shortly after President Biden took office. The mandate was extended this month through April 18.
“Faced with a government that displays outright disdain for the limits on its power — especially when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic — plaintiffs seek vacatur of that mask mandate and a permanent injunction against its enforcement,” the suit states.

It names as plaintiffs the leaders of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Transportation Security Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security.






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The CDC in recent weeks has updated its guidance on masking, and states have largely dropped requirements for doing so in public settings. The mask requirement for transportation settings is one of the highest-profile federal pandemic-related mandates still in place.
Mask mandate extended for air travel and public transit
A push to end the mandate has gained momentum in recent days, including from groups that had previously supported the requirement. Last week, executives from 10 airlines, including American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines, sent a letter to Biden urging him to end pandemic-related travel policies, including the mask mandate.

This month, the American Public Transportation Association also sent a letter to the White House encouraging the administration to reevaluate the mask policy.

The new 30-page suit filed in U.S. District Court in the Middle District of Florida calls the mandate “arbitrary and capricious,” blasting the Biden administration’s rationale for it as “paper thin.”
Airlines CEOs call for an end to the federal mask mandate
It argues that the requirement conflicts with the authority of states to enact their own rules and has forced states to expend resources to enforce it or face fines. The suit also argues that the CDC did not consider “lesser alternatives” in enacting the mandate.


“CDC should have considered which types of transportation are most likely to contribute to interstate spread,” the suit said. “Instead, the CDC treated buses transporting toddlers to day care and interstate flights as if they present the same risk of spreading COVID-19 across state lines.”

The TSA said in a statement Tuesday that the agency won’t comment on pending litigation. Officials with the CDC, HHS and Homeland Security didn’t respond to requests for comment.
In announcing the mask requirement through April 18, the Biden administration said the CDC would work with the TSA to determine what changes to the policy are warranted.
The 21 states that filed the suit are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.
Children younger than 2 and people with certain disabilities are exempt from the mask requirement.

 
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EagleHawk

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Airlines probably want to get rid of it, because the airports don't care(based on personal experience over spring break) so then the airlines have to be the bad guys. Orlando and Minneapolis airports were probably 10-15% non-masked, and another 15% wearing them around their necks. No attempt at enforcement in the airport at all. on the plane, several announcements were made pre-flight about keeping masks on.
 
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IsaacHarrison

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Personally, id rather see the testing to return to the US end before mask in airplanes. I can travel to a hotbed in the US and not have to test but I can go to any country with less covid I have to test.
 

TylerJ76

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It's strange that with all the TSA shit you have to undergo to board a plane, litarally hours of it including complete body scans, a simple mask is what the Rs focus on. Once again they go for the lowest hanging fruit possible and declare victory.

Where do you fly out of that it takes "literally hours" to get through TSA?
 
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TC Nole OX

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It's strange that with all the TSA shit you have to undergo to board a plane, litarally hours of it including complete body scans, a simple mask is what the Rs focus on. Once again they go for the lowest hanging fruit possible and declare victory.

It's always grievance and outrage with them. One of their other pillars is scaring the crap out of white people in order to increase funding for the police/surveillance/prison state. You aren't likely to see the right attacking longtime TSA procedures very often. It happens but only when there is a political point to score.
 

Huey Grey

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Where do you fly out of that it takes "literally hours" to get through TSA?
Ever flown out of Newark? I have spent well over an hour waiting in those lines.

But my point still stands. Flying sucks. Every airport is a zoo now. But instead of recognizing the real problem, and that we need a heavy investment in building airport infrastructure to actually meet demand, Republicans go after masks. To me it's the laziest form of legislating you can get.
 

Huey Grey

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It's always grievance and outrage with them. One of their other pillars is scaring the crap out of white people in order to increase funding for the police/surveillance/prison state. You aren't likely to see the right attacking longtime TSA procedures very often. It happens but only when there is a political point to score.
Somehow full body scans, metal detectors, and pat downs are ok but a stupid mask is a bridge too far?
 
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TylerJ76

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Ever flown out of Newark? I have spent well over an hour waiting in those lines.

But my point still stands. Flying sucks. Every airport is a zoo now. But instead of recognizing the real problem, and that we need a heavy investment in building airport infrastructure to actually meet demand, Republicans go after masks. To me it's the laziest form of legislating you can get.

Your point doesn't stand, I have flown out of JFK, O'Hare and Atlanta in the past 4 months, and it's never taking me more than 30-40 minutes to get through.

You make shit up, all the time.
 

TC Nole OX

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Your point doesn't stand, I have flown out of JFK, O'Hare and Atlanta in the past 4 months, and it's never taking me more than 30-40 minutes to get through.

You make shit up, all the time.

He's not wrong about Newark. I arrived at Newark at 4am for a 6:30 flight and almost didn't make it on to my plane. That place has the worst lines of any airport I have seen and I am A List on SWA so I've seen plenty.
 
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Huey Grey

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Your point doesn't stand, I have flown out of JFK, O'Hare and Atlanta in the past 4 months, and it's never taking me more than 30-40 minutes to get through.

You make shit up, all the time.
You must not fly much. I have flown out of CR with close to an hour wait time.

Not that this matters. It's clear your bitter I'm pointing out the hypocrisy and laziness of the GOP when it comes to flying.
 

runkpanole

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I've been pretty outspoken in being in favor of mandates but even I think it's time to move on now. We have the vaccines, take them or don't, but the crisis has passed.
I agree with this. If someone redneck ahole refuses to get vaccinated and dies, I’m done caring about those that don’t care about themselves.
 

Huey Grey

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For the record I'm also largely over masks. If a place requires them I will oblige, but if 80% of people aren't wearing them at a place that doesn't require them, then there's not much point in me wearing them either.
 
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EagleHawk

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Your point doesn't stand, I have flown out of JFK, O'Hare and Atlanta in the past 4 months, and it's never taking me more than 30-40 minutes to get through.

You make shit up, all the time.
Yep, Orlando was 15-20 minutes at 6 PM during spring break. had 6-8 lines going through screening. But lets choose the smallest airport to complain about wait times with their one security line.
 

TC Nole OX

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Yep, Orlando was 15-20 minutes at 6 PM during spring break. had 6-8 lines going through screening. But lets choose the smallest airport to complain about wait times with their one security line.

Orlando and Tampa are the far end of the spectrum from places like Newark. Tampa and Orlando spend a fortune to ensure their airports are the leaders in user friendliness and convenience. All of you who visit us foot the bill.
 
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runkpanole

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Some of you need to figure out TSA Pre-check. Even if you only fly a few times a year, it is well worth it.
 

TC Nole OX

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For the record I'm also largely over masks. If a place requires them I will oblige, but if 80% of people aren't wearing them at a place that doesn't require them, then there's not much point in me wearing them either.

I wear an N-95 pretty much anywhere I go. I took Amtrak to WPB and back last week and wore an N-95 while most had on a cloth mask or those disposable paper masks.
 

Huey Grey

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Yep, Orlando was 15-20 minutes at 6 PM during spring break. had 6-8 lines going through screening. But lets choose the smallest airport to complain about wait times with their one security line.
This proves my point that airports can be made more efficient. I have also flown out if Orlando. It was pretty painless. I get people not wanting to wear masks. But flying still sucks even without them. Why didn't the Rs try to fix flying under Trump? The whole mask complaint comes across as politically convenient more than anything else.
 

FAUlty Gator

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Seems like an easy thing to do to stop on-plane fist fights, early landings and delayed flights. No?
 

Hawki97

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I really have never looked to see what the breakdown of financial support for an airport. The federal support is a lot less than I expected for large airports:

“An airport’s degree of reliance on federal grants is generally inversely related to its size. For example, federal grants contributed a little over 10 percent of the funding for the nation’s 71 largest airports but accounted for 50 percent of the funding for the other 3,233 national system airports. (GAO 1996 Report to Congress, Airport Financing, Funding Sources for Airport Development, Page 2)”
 

NCHawk5

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You must not fly much. I have flown out of CR with close to an hour wait time.

Not that this matters. It's clear your bitter I'm pointing out the hypocrisy and laziness of the GOP when it comes to flying.
You’re full of shit. An hour at CR? Masking at this point is a complete joke unless you’re religiously wearing an N95. Even then, you’re a tool.
 

your_master5

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It's strange that with all the TSA shit you have to undergo to board a plane, litarally hours of it including complete body scans, a simple mask is what the Rs focus on. Once again they go for the lowest hanging fruit possible and declare victory.
Gee, maybe because wearing a mask doesn't do SH#T!
 

your_master5

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Somehow full body scans, metal detectors, and pat downs are ok but a stupid mask is a bridge too far?
Somehow these things are for a different purpose versus something that serves zero purpose. Apparently that's a bridge to far for you to distinguish.
 

3boysmom

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This is stupid. Everything I am hearing indicates that they plan to drop it in April anyway. That was the plan when they extended it. My guess is that the timing being the day after Easter and spring breaks officially over had something to do with it. I hope they also drop the return testing. Canada is dropping their return testing requirement effective April 1. My guess is that this is political grandstanding to make it look like they forced an action when it was going to happen anyway.
 

Huey Grey

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Somehow these things are for a different purpose versus something that serves zero purpose. Apparently that's a bridge to far for you to distinguish.
Rs had 4 years to fix TSA wait times, airport infrastructure, and reduce delays and cancellations, but they blew it all off.

I know that you don't like to hear this, but these lawsuits have nothing to do with making flying better. It's all political posturing. And lazy political posturing at that.

Rs still refuse to lift a finger about actual airport problems. Instead they go after the easiest fixes possible that really solves nothing. At some point I hope that Rs will return to real legislating. Unfortunately we haven't reached that day yet.
 

your_master5

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Rs had 4 years to fix TSA wait times, airport infrastructure, and reduce delays and cancellations, but they blew it all off.

I know that you don't like to hear this, but these lawsuits have nothing to do with making flying better. It's all political posturing. And lazy political posturing at that.

Rs still refuse to lift a finger about actual airport problems. Instead they go after the easiest fixes possible that really solves nothing. At some point I hope that Rs will return to real legislating. Unfortunately we haven't reached that day yet.
While I don't disagree that airports have significant issues as does TSA, I'm just not sure how this is a R problem only. D's had Obummer years and now Biden to fix TSA as well. R's are just tired of mask nonsense. I go through a scanner one time. I have to wear a mask the entire time unless I'm eating/drinking. Which puts me at the bar so I don't have to wear the stupid thing that's doing nothing for me or anyone else in the airport or the plane.
 

TylerJ76

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You must not fly much. I have flown out of CR with close to an hour wait time.

Not that this matters. It's clear your bitter I'm pointing out the hypocrisy and laziness of the GOP when it comes to flying.

Bitter?
No.

Just calling you out.

You said it takes literally hours to get through TSA, it's just not true.
 

Finance85

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Oct 22, 2003
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It's strange that with all the TSA shit you have to undergo to board a plane, litarally hours of it including complete body scans, a simple mask is what the Rs focus on. Once again they go for the lowest hanging fruit possible and declare victory.
You don't get out much, do you? When COVID hit, I was taking a redeye from Portland to Pensacola every week. It was a 10 hour experience counting airport time.

We all know what the science really says. Why don't you accept it?
 
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artradley

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This is stupid. Everything I am hearing indicates that they plan to drop it in April anyway. That was the plan when they extended it. My guess is that the timing being the day after Easter and spring breaks officially over had something to do with it. I hope they also drop the return testing. Canada is dropping their return testing requirement effective April 1. My guess is that this is political grandstanding to make it look like they forced an action when it was going to happen anyway.

We fly to Aruba on April 15th and return the 22nd. So while we will be masked up on the way there, and we’re bringing two test kits for the return, we’re hoping we won’t need the tests and can come home without masks.

Because we are healthy, vaccinated, and boosted so we do not need masks.
 
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I flew last week for the first time since the pandemic hit. I do agree at this point that the mask mandate seems largely theatrical versus a serious mitigation technique, so I'll be pleased once it expires. It really doesn't bother me in the least to wear one and I also think it will be awhile yet before most hospitals and medical clinics will drop their masking requirements