The Epoch Times just sent us an alert that U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle found that the CDC’s airplane mask rule exceeded the agency’s statutory authority because its implementation violated administrative law. Mizelle, based in Florida and an appointee of
President Donald Trump, directed the agency to reverse the policy nationwide in response to a lawsuit filed by the Health Freedom Defense Fund.
According to the Epoch Times reporting, Judge Mizelle stipulated the CDC violated the Administrative Procedure Act because it did not “allow for public participation through notice and comment before issuing the mask mandate.”
“At the time when the CDC issued the mandate, the COVID-19 pandemic had been ongoing for almost a year and COVID-19 cases were decreasing,” Mizelle wrote in her ruling. “This timing undercuts the CDC’s suggestion that its action was so urgent that a thirty-day comment period was contrary to the public interest. So too, the CDC’s delay in issuing the mandate further undercuts its position.”
Public comment in this case is necessary, the judge wrote, because the mandate would “constrain their choices and actions via threats and civil and criminal penalties.”
The judge’s decision is yet another blow to the Biden administration’s COVID-19 mandates. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court struck down an Occupational Safety and Health Administration rule directing tens of millions of workers at larger private companies to receive vaccines, but left intact a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services rule requiring healthcare workers to receive the shots.
Most Americans, even the well-informed readers of ConservativeHQ.com, probably never heard of Judge Mizelle prior to this decision, but it is worth noting that we supported her confirmation and joined other conservative leaders in lighting a fire under Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham to get her confirmed.
Here’s what we wrote in September 2020, “…last week the Senate Judiciary Committee reviewed the nomination of Kathryn Kimball Mizelle to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. We urge the committee to move quickly in moving her confirmation to the Senate floor and for a vote of the whole Senate to confirm her to the U.S. District Court.
“Kathryn Kimball Mizelle has the experience, work ethic, intelligence, and temperament that certainly qualifies her for the federal judiciary. She was first in her class at the University of Florida Levin College of Law and upon graduation she has served as a law clerk at every level of the federal judiciary, - clerking for such prominent judges as Justice Clarence Thomas of the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Gregory G. Katsas of the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Chief Judge William Pryor Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and Judge James S. Moody Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, the very position she is now nominated for.”
We commend Judge Mizelle for her insightful application of the law to the facts of this case and for a decision that in essence affirms the principle that government claims of emergencies don’t trump the Constitution and the rule of law.
U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle
airplane mask mandate
Health Freedom Defense Fund
Administrative Procedure Act
public comment period
Biden COVID policies
Donald Trump appointees