Texas Mask Mandate Repeal Case Attorney Welcomes Florida Judge’s Ruling

Neil W. McCabe, the national political editor of The Star News Network, interviewed Robert Henneke, the executive director and general counsel of The Texas Public Policy Foundation, about Florida federal Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle’s Oct. 18, 2022 ruling that overturned the Centers for Disease Control’s mask mandate for air travelers and public transportation passengers.

Henneke represents TPPF and Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R.-Texas) in a similar challenge to the CDC mask mandate.

Henneke said the Florida mask mandate case, which was brought by the Health Freedom Defense Fund, centered on the same two points as his case.

First, Congress never created a law authorizing the executive brand to issue such a mandate. Second, the Biden administration did not follow the regulation-making procedures spelled out in the Administrative Procedures Act, he said.

Although the judge cited similar arguments to those in his case, his case goes on, as he waits to see how the Justice Department chooses to react to the ruling.


McCabe: A federal judge in Florida, Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, overturned the Centers for Disease Controls mask mandate for public transportation and air travel in an April 18th ruling. Robert Henneke, the executive director and chief counsel for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, told The Star News Network the ruling is good news for the Foundation’s own suit on behalf of Texas Republican Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne.

Henneke: The arguments that are pending in our ongoing lawsuit in Texas are the same arguments that prevailed in the case in Florida, with the judge in Florida agreeing that the Center for Disease Control did not have the statutory authority that it claimed to impose a face-covering requirement for all Americans engaging in transportation.

McCabe: In addition to the judge citing CDC’s lack of authority, she also ruled that when the Biden administration imposed the mask mandate, it violated federal law, Henneke said.

Henneke: The court also held that the Biden administration committed an error when it implemented the mask mandate without going through the notice and comment requirements under the Administrative Procedures Act.

McCabe: The lawyer said the administration’s flawed regulatory process for the mask mandate fits into a pattern.

Henneke: With the Biden administration over the last two years of COVID, so much of their regulatory efforts have been attempted to be shoehorned through the CDC under a public health-type argument.

McCabe: Henneke said despite the good news, he is still pressing on with his own case and watching for the Justice Department’s next step.

Henneke: Our case will continue. The opinion from the court in Florida is hot off the press, and it still remains to be seen how the Department of Justice will respond. Will they seek an immediate stay of the final judgment once it’s entered?

I presume they’ll appeal. There’s still too much to be determined, but the determination from Florida is not dispositive yet of our case. Our case in Texas will proceed.

McCabe: Reporting for The Star News Network, Neil W. McCabe, Washington.

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