Richmond, VA (VR) — Attorney General Jason Miyares (pronounced me-YAR-ez) joined 22 states in filing an amicus brief in support of the plaintiff in Health Freedom Defense Fund Inc. vs. Joseph R. Biden, Jr., President of the United States. The attorneys general argue that the district court correctly vacated the federal mask mandate. President Biden’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s interstate travel mask mandate exceeds its authority and infringes on each state’s ability to enact its own public health rules.
“Mask Mandates across the country have been lifted in virtually every aspect of daily life. For months, Americans have been traveling safely while making their own, autonomous decisions. The CDC mask mandate on public transportation, like air travel, is obsolete and no longer necessary – not to mention a clear example of federal overreach,” said Attorney General Miyares.
In a brief filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, the attorneys general argue that the CDC’s unlawful mandate exceeds the agency’s authority in several ways.
First, the CDC grounds its authority to issue a mask mandate in its power to require “sanitation” measures under 42 U.S.C. § 264(a). That authority cannot support the mandate. Additionally, according to the statute, the CDC cannot demand that domestic travelers be examined without evidence that they are carrying disease—but that is what the mandate requires, a visual inspection of every traveler without any individualized suspicion.
The brief also argues that the mandate is invalid because it failed to go through notice and comment procedures. The CDC rule is arbitrary and capricious, with numerous exceptions that the agency did not explain or justify. Beyond that, the rule violates the agency’s own regulations. The brief states: “CDC regulations say that it cannot act unless it finds local measures inadequate. But here, the CDC never even studied local measures, much less developed a method to determine whether those measures are adequate.”
Attorney General Miyares joins the attorneys general of the following states in filing the brief: Florida, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.
The Virginian Review has been serving Covington, Clifton Forge, Alleghany County and Bath County since 1914.