WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) and 15 of his colleagues joined in a lawsuit led by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The lawsuit, Massie et al v. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seeks to end the CDC’s illegal mask mandate for individuals traveling on commercial airlines. Massie’s lawsuit takes on additional significance in the face of news reports indicating the Biden Administration is extending the CDC’s mask mandate until April 18.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not have the legal authority to force people traveling on commercial airlines to wear masks,” said Rep. Massie. “Congress never passed a law requiring masks on commercial flights. This lawsuit targets the faceless bureaucrats who are behind the CDC’s unscientific regulation so that this illegal mask mandate can be brought to a permanent end.”
Massie et al v. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contains two primary claims:
First, none of the statutes or regulations cited by the CDC for the authority to mandate that individuals wear masks on commercial airlines, conveyances, and at transportation hubs, permit the CDC to implement or enforce this mandate.
Second, even if Congress had granted the CDC the authority to promulgate the mask mandate, the granting of this authority would violate a principle known as the “non-delegation doctrine.”
Rep. Massie and his co-plaintiffs are asking a federal court to declare that “the mask mandate is beyond the CDC’s statutory authority or is unconstitutional.” Further, the plaintiffs seek an injunction that prohibits the CDC, or anyone acting on the CDC’s behalf, from enforcing the mask mandate.
“Americans are fed up with political measures linked to public health and deserve representation that will take action to bring these unconstitutional mask mandates to an end,” said Rep. Davidson. “The CDC lacks the legal authority to make law, it hasn’t used rule-making consistent with the Administrative Procedures Act, and shouldn’t be able to use coercion to compel airlines or TSA to enforce its mandates.”
“The CDC’s mask mandate does not protect public health and is beyond the agency’s statutory authority,” said Rep. Andy Biggs. “That’s why nearly a year ago I introduced H.R.4441 – Travel Mask Mandate Repeal Act of 2021 that repealed mask mandates on public transportation. CDC’s tyrannical bureaucrats must be held accountable for placing anti-science restrictions on individuals who have faced hardship for some time now. Mask mandates are old news, and are only being kept in place by those who relish controlling our day-to-day lives.”
“From asthmatic toddlers to elderly grandmothers, millions of Americans have been subject to Joe Biden’s mask mandate on planes, even while liberal politicians fly maskless on their private jets,” said Rep. Brian Mast. “The CDC’s refusal to let go of the power and end this unscientific, big government edict has forced us to take action. I’m confident that the judicial system will see this for what it is: an unconstitutional overreach that never should have been allowed in the first place.”
“The CDC has forced Americans to wear masks on commercial flights for two years without legal standing. A mandate is not law, and Congress never passed legislation codifying the CDC’s mask wearing demands,” said Rep. Matt Rosendale. “It is unconstitutional for the Director of the CDC to suppress the freedoms of the American people in such a way, and political pressure to control the fearmongering narrative of COVID-19 needs to end.”
“From the start of the pandemic, the CDC has issued arbitrary and brazenly politicized guidance that was not authorized by Congress,” said Rep. Chip Roy. “Never was this more obvious than at the State of the Union where attendees were told they could go mask-less just days before the CDC renewed its mask mandate on public transportation. It’s time to end the fear-driven tyranny. I am proud to join my good friend Rep. Thomas Massie in this lawsuit.”
Massie et al v. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. The named defendants are Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rochelle P. Walensky in her official capacity as Director of the CDC, and Sherri A. Berger in her official capacity as Chief of Staff of the CDC.