Attorney General Alan Wilson is joining 22 states, led by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, 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.
Attorney General Wilson said, “This was an illegal power grab and an infringement of the liberty of our citizens. The CDC does not have the authority to require everyone to wear masks while traveling between states and it didn’t even follow the law in putting the mandate in place.”
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, 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, CDC never even studied local measures, much less developed a method to determine whether those measures are adequate.”
Attorney General Wilson 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, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.
To read the full brief, click here.