Texas sues Biden administration over federal mask mandate for airports and airplanes

Texas sues Biden administration over federal mask mandate for airports and airplanes

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and U.S. Rep. Beth Van Duyne, R-Irving, are suing the Biden administration to end mask mandates on planes.

“Biden’s repeated disregard of the individual liberties of Texans is not only disrespectful to the U.S. Constitution, it is also troublesome that any president thinks they can act above the law while hardworking Americans standby,” Paxton said in a statement about the lawsuit. “President Biden cannot continue governing through executive edicts. Now is the time to strike down his administration’s air-travel mask mandate.”

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, argues that the mandate imposes a “restriction on travelers’ liberty interests.” Van Duyne’s district includes the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

The federal mask mandate, issued in January 2021, requires that people wear masks while using public transportation services or facilities, including airports and subway stations. Those who violate the mask mandate could face criminal penalties, though the CDC said in June 2021 it would not enforce the mandate in outdoor settings.

At the time, the government said the mandate would “protect Americans and provide confidence that we can once again travel safely even during this pandemic.” The current mask requirements are set to expire on March 18, though they previously have been extended several times.

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