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Federal Judge Issues Conflicting Decision Declaring Federal Transportation Mask Mandate Legal

Judgment Against D.C. Flyer Issued 11 Days after Another Judge Vacated the Mandate Worldwide

Just 11 days after Judge Kathryn Mizelle of Tampa vacated the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s Federal Transportation Mask Mandate worldwide, another federal judge in nearby Orlando ruled today that CDC does have the legal authority to force travelers to wear masks and undergo COVID-19 testing before flying to the United States from abroad.

The stunning 29-page judgment issued by U.S. District Judge Paul Byron, also in the Middle District of Florida, totally conflicts with that handed down by Mizelle on April 18 in a case brought by the Health Freedom Defense Fund.

Plaintiff Lucas Wall of Washington, D.C., said he’s dazed by the 180-degree opposite conclusions reached by Byron compared to those by Mizelle, whose opinion Byron did not mention at all except in a footnote. Wall is founder and chairman of Americans Against Mask Mandates, a coalition of more than 650 passengers and airline employees opposed to the FTMM, 41 of whom are prosecuting 14 lawsuits in numerous federal courts attacking the mandate and airlines’ discriminatory policies of refusing mask exemptions to the disabled.

“Let’s all be thankful Judge Mizelle vacated the Federal Transportation Mask Mandate worldwide so that Judge Byron’s decision today has no immediate impact in terms of travelers being able to move about the nation without being forced to obstruct their breathing by the federal government,” Wall said. “But today’s defeat on the International Traveler Testing Requirement, the first decision in the country on this illicit CDC policy, stings for everyone such as myself who travels abroad – and for the airline industry, who has been lobbying hard to kill the pre-departure testing rule that serves no purpose except to discourage foreign travel by Americans due to the risk of being stranded abroad if one can’t find a rapid test, gets a false positive, or comes down with COVID-19 while in another country.”

Wall, a global nomad who’s been to 134 nations, can’t medically tolerate wearing a face mask because of his Generalized Anxiety Disorder. He was the first person in the United States to file legal challenges to the FTMM and ITTR back on June 7, 2021. He hasn’t been able to fly since June 2020 because of airline mask rules and then the FTMM. Due to the ITTR, he’s also been prevented from visiting his brother, who lives in Germany.

He filed for summary judgment Feb. 16 asking Byron to strike down the FTMM and ITTR ordered by CDC, after which the federal government asked the judge to grant judgment in its favor. Byron did exactly that in today’s shocking decision completely disagreeing with Mizelle’s rationale. Notably Byron did not examine any of Mizelle’s decision, citing only in a footnote that a “district court cannot be said to be bound by a decision of one of its brother or sister judges.” … Read More (Lucas Travel)

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