The Missouri Attorney General joined 20 other states in a multistate action against President Biden’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s continued use of the unlawful mask mandate on public transportation. The attorneys general argue that the mandate exceeds the authority of the CDC. The Biden administration continues to use a failed interpretation of a quarantine statute—that has been ruled against in court several times—to authorize the CDC’s rule. The continuation of the CDC’s unlawful mask mandate harms the states.
“It’s far past time for the mask mandate on public transportation to be rescinded. The Biden Administration and the CDC have no authority to force people to wear masks on flights or on buses,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “Further, the science is very clear – masks simply do not work to stop the spread of COVID-19. It’s time we move beyond this COVID theater and allow people to make their own decisions related to their health and well-being. Time and again, the Biden Administration has overstepped their authority and attempted to exert the will of the federal government on the people of Missouri and people across the country. I’ve pushed back at every turn, and will continue to push back on this unprecedented government overreach.”
In their complaint, the attorneys general argues that the CDC’s unlawful mask mandate exceeds the agency’s authority in several ways. First, the statute used to justify the mandate does not authorize economy-wide measures. Second, the statute only authorizes rules directly related to preventing the interstate spread of disease—it does not permit mask requirements for individuals who show no sign of infection.
Additionally, the complaint highlights that the CDC rule is arbitrary and capricious and required notice and comment that was not given before being implemented. The mandate also requires state-run conveyances and transportation hubs to affirmatively enforce the rule, in violation of the anti-commandeering doctrine.
The complaint seeks the eradication of the unlawful mask mandate and a permanent injunction against enforcement.
Attorney General Schmitt joins the attorneys general from the following states in signing onto the complaint: Florida, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia.
The Missouri Attorney General’s Office has been a leader in battling government overreach, both on the local and national levels. Attorney General Schmitt was the first to file suit against the OSHA’s private employer vaccine mandate and the vaccine mandate on health care workers. Further, Attorney General Schmitt filed suit against 45 school districts for continuing to force the masking of schoolchildren. Nearly all districts have since dropped their mask mandates following the lawsuits.