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Justice Department Signals Appeal Of Judge

The Justice Department said Tuesday that it plans to appeal a federal judge’s ruling to void the federal mask mandate that had required face coverings on airplanes, trains, buses and public transportation hubs if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes that it remains necessary.

“The department continues to believe that the order requiring masking in the transportation corridor is a valid exercise of the authority Congress has given (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to protect public health,” Justice said in a statement.

“If CDC concludes that a mandatory order remains necessary for the public’s health after that assessment, the Department of Justice will appeal the district court’s decision.”

The ruling from U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle on Monday led to a number of airlines, airports and other transportation companies to drop their mask requirements. 

As of Tuesday, every major U.S. airline said they would no longer enforce face coverings. 

The federal mask mandate was first announced in January 2021. Before Mizelle’s decision, the federal mask mandate was set to last through at least May 3.

You can follow USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter @bailey_schulz and follow our free travel newsletter here

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