A brave judge ends the federal mask mandate

Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, a United States district judge in Florida and a Trump appointee, issued an order today striking down the hated federal mask mandate.  Staying within her lane, she didn't strike it down because even the CDC conceded that the mandate is useless, although she could have.  Instead, she properly concluded that the CDC lacked the statutory authority to issue the mandate and violated the procedures federal agencies must follow to create such rules.

Judge Mizelle's meticulous 59-page decision carefully walks through the applicable facts and law.  The gist is as stated above: the CDC exceeded its mandate when, on February 3, 2021, in response to a directive from Biden, it issued its mask mandate without allowing any public participation or comment under the Administrative Procedure Act.  The CDC's masking mandate is now dead.

While airlines can still impose the mandate should they desire, several major airlines — American, United, Delta, Southwest, and Alaska — have already announced that they now consider masks optional.  That was a smart business decision because passengers and crew are delighted to have the mandate gone.

Image: Masks on airplanes (edited) by rawpixel.  Freepik license.

As it happened, my daughter flew today.  She texted me excitedly that, as the passengers boarded the plane, the pilot was standing there to inform them that they were no longer required to wear masks.  Everybody, she said, was excited.  Multiple videos and photographs support my daughter's narrative, with a sample here:

Of course, the neurotic, elite leftists weren't as thrilled.  Here's a Harvard M.D. and Slate contributor who dreams of vaccinating babies and whining that normal people are baby-killers.

Would you be at all surprised to learn that Dr. Faustus, er, Faust apparently supports abortion?

The best take of all, though, comes courtesy of Spencer Brown, who found this wonderful take from Mark Joseph Stern, another Slate writer.  Why is it wonderful?  Because of what he said five years ago.  Here's Stern now:

And this was Stern then:

More seriously, it seems doubtful that the Biden administration will be able to summon the political will to go through the correct process for masking people again anywhere on federally controlled property.  While the political class wants COVID to last because of the power it confers, the American people have moved on.  They're done.  Over.  No more.  Never again.

That doesn't mean that the Democrats don’t still have tricks up their sleeve to game the elections (2022 and 2024) as successfully as they did in 2020.  It does mean, however, that COVID won't be the weapon of choice.

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