Florida Ends Mask Mandate Case

Florida Ends Mask Mandate Case

Florida Ends Mask Mandate Case

Re: the Legality of CDC’s authority to mandate masks

 

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Facts of the Case

  • Dates: (filed) July 12, 2021
  • Location: Tampa, Fla, USA
  • Court: US District Court, Middle District of Florida, Tampa Div
  • Case #: 8:21-cv-01693 \ 8:21-cv-1693
  • Plaintiff: HFDF, Ana Carolina Daza & Sarah Pope
  • Plaintiff’s Lawyer: Hadaway
  • Defendant: Joe Biden, CDC, HHS
  • Trial Type:
  • Judge: Kathryn Kimball Mizelle
  • Status: Decided (April 18, 2022)
  • Verdict: for the Plaintiff


*updated April 27,2022

Background

The lawsuit – challenging the validity of Mask Mandates–  was brought by two Florida residents who argued that being required to wear masks on airplanes aggravated their anxiety—a condition that is not exempted from forced masking under the mandate. They are represented by the Health Freedom Defense Fund (HFDF). [3]

HFDF is a not-for-profit public benefit Wyoming corporation with its headquarters in Sandpoint, Idaho. HFDF is a member organization that seeks to advocate for and educate the public on the topics of medical choice, bodily autonomy, and self-determination, and
that opposes laws and regulations that force individuals to submit to the administration of medical products, procedures, and devices against their will. [5]

The CDC is not a nationwide police force, and is not empowered to make laws,” said Leslie Manookian, Founder and President of Health Freedom Defense Fund. “Nevertheless, with no legal authority to do so, these unelected, unaccountable technocrats have forced every citizen in America to wear a mask when they travel. We believe that Americans have the right to think for themselves and make their own health care choices without the meddling of government. Americans must not be dictated to in this manner by anyone, let alone unelected, unaccountable technocrats at CDC.” [4]

 
the order

The mask-wearing requirement had been initially imposed in early 2021, shortly after President Joe Biden took office in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. [1] – Executive Order Number 13998 issued by Defendant Biden on January 21, 2021 [5].

Shortly thereafter, the nationwide mask mandate was issued by the CDC  –  a department of HHS, on January 29, 2021, entitled, “Requirement for Persons to Wear Masks While on Conveyances and at Transportation Hubs” (the “Mask Mandate”), 86 Fed. Reg. 8025, [5]

Just last week, the (CDC) agency extended the transportation mask mandate (which had been set to expire originally on April 18) through May 3 — allowing officials to take more time to study the BA.2 subvariant of COVID-19. [1]

 
The Problem with Mask Mandate

“The fact is that the police power — that is the power to regulate the health, safety and welfare of Americans — was specifically reserved to the States by our Constitution,” said George Wentz of the Davillier Law Group, legal counsel for the Plaintiffs. “With the mask mandate, not only does the CDC usurp the role of the States by attempting to exercise general police powers, but at the same time it steps into the shoes of Congress and makes a nationwide law. We are confident that the CDC is way out of bounds here, and the Court will strike down the mask mandate.” [4]

Masks have been approved for use by the general public under an emergency use authorization (EUA) and are considered investigational products under the law. Their efficacy has not been proven, and their short and long-term side effects have not been studied. Recent studies have shown that masks do more harm than good, and expose the wearer to levels of carbon dioxide well above levels permitted by OSHA in the workplace. [4]

Members of Health Freedom Defense Fund feel strongly that they should not, and cannot, be forced to wear masks and that no one should have the power to force another person to cover their airway. [4]

 
Airline CEO’s Call to End Masks

Last month (March 2022), governors from 21 states sued the Biden administration to end the federal public transportation mask mandate, arguing that the continued enforcement “harms the states” and interferes with some local laws. [1]

In an open letter released by the travel-industry lobbying group Airlines for America, the group is calling on the Biden administration to “sunset federal transportation travel restrictions.” The group argues that the restrictions no longer reflect the “realities of the current epidemiological environment.” [2]

The letter was signed by the leaders of 10 U.S. companies, including six of the largest airlines in the country: Alaska Airlines, American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest and United. [2]

It makes no sense that people are still required to wear masks on airplanes, yet are allowed to congregate in crowded restaurants, schools and at sporting events without masks, despite none of these venues having the protective air filtration system that aircraft do,” wrote the CEOs of all major airlines in a letter to the Biden administration. [3]

 
21 States Challenge the Mask Mandate

Governors from 21 states are suing to end the federal public transportation mask mandate, claiming the continued enforcement “harms the states” and interferes with some local laws. [7]

“President Biden’s shortsighted, heavy-handed and unlawful travel policies are frustrating travelers and causing chaos on public transportation,” Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, who is leading the states’ effort, said in a statement. “It’s long past time to alleviate some of the pressure on travelers and those working in the travel industry by immediately ending Biden’s unlawful public transportation mandates.” [7]

Joining the mostly Republican-led effort are three states with Democratic governors — Kansas, Kentucky and Louisiana. [7]

Last month (Feb 2022), leaders in Texas filed their own, similar complaint against the Biden administration. [7]

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) mandate was unlawfully issued. It was not authorized by Congress, and the CDC did not put the mandate up for notice and comment, which is ordinarily required for regulations like this. Yet a person’s failure to comply with the Administration’s mask mandate carries criminal penalties. [8]

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,” said Attorney General Paxton. “President Biden cannot continue governing through executive edicts. Now is the time to strike down his administration’s air-travel mask mandate. I’m proud to stand alongside my friend Congresswoman Van Duyne and her counsel at TPPF to protect Texans’ liberty and the rule of law.” [8]

(Read a copy of the Texas complaint here)

Many states and cities have already lifted COVID-19 restrictions as they’ve seen a decline in cases and hospitalizations locally. [7]

The states’ lawsuit says the CDC should end its mandate in light of this trend. [7]

“More recently, even lockdown States like California have announced the end of their mask mandates. Still, the CDC unabashedly leaves its mandate intact,” their complaint says. [7]

 

Significance

This challenge could undo the power of the Federal government to enforce Mask Mandates

 

Plaintiff’s Argument

(from the original complaint) [5]

5. Plaintiffs challenge the Mask Mandate pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 706(2) of the Administrative Procedure Act (the “APA”) on grounds that it:

a. is not in accordance with and exceeds the CDC’s statutory and regulatory authority under 42 U.S.C. § 264(a) and 42 C.F.R. §§ 70.2,
71.31(b), and 71.32(b);

b. is a rule that was enacted without observance of notice and comment procedures required by the APA; and/or

c. is arbitrary and capricious, in that it exempts children under age 2 without regard to scientific evidence of the impact of prolonged mask use on persons of all ages.


6. Alternatively, if the Mask Mandate does not exceed Defendants’ statutory and regulatory authority, then 42 U.S.C. § 264 (a) constitutes an unlawful delegation of legislative authority.


7. As well, Plaintiffs challenge the Executive Order on grounds that it constitutes an improper exercise of legislative authority by the Executive Branch, and that it further improperly asserts a general police power that has traditionally been relegated to the States, in derogation of the Separation of Powers under the United States Constitution.

Case 8:21-cv-01693 Document 1 Filed 07/12/21 Page 3 of 28 PageID 3

 

Defendant’s Argument]

…More information is needed…

 

Relevant Prior Judgements/ Cases

a Florida Federal Court has struck down the CDC’s cruise line order as unsupported by law, and five justices of the Supreme Court recently appear to have agreed that the CDC over reached with its nationwide eviction moratorium. [4]

 

Decision

U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle ruled that the federal mask mandate on planes, trains, buses and other modes of public transportation is “unlawful.” [1] and Vacates It [3]

“Within the past two years, the CDC has found within § 264(a) the power to shut down the cruise ship industry, stop landlords from evicting tenants who have not paid their rent, and require that persons using public conveyances wear masks. Courts have concluded that the first two of these measures exceeded the CDC’s statutory authority under §264. … [9]

No court has yet ruled on the legality of the third. At first blush, it appears more closely related to the powers granted in§ 264(a) than either the sail order or the eviction moratorium. But after rigorous statutory analysis, the Court concludes that§ 264(a) does not authorize the CDC to issue the Mask Mandate….” [9]

“Our system does not permit agencies to act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends,” writes Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle. [3]

Mizelle wrote in a summary that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had exceeded its authority and failed to follow proper rulemaking procedures. [1]

In a 59-page ruling, Mizelle argues that the mandate violates the Administrative Procedure Act, as the agency failed to prove its decision regarding implementing the mandate [1]

The ruling was detailed in analyzing the language of the CDC’s authority as written by Congress in 1944. In particular the meaning of words such as sanitation were scrutinized as to their original meaning– not the re-interpretation by the CDC today. [9]

“One definition it relies upon is even broader, defining “sanitation” as the “applying of measures for preserving and promoting public health.” If Congress intended this definition, the power bestowed on the CDC would be breathtaking. And it certainly would not be limited to modest measures of “sanitation” like masks. It would also justify requiring that businesses install air filtration systems to reduce the risks from airborne contagions or install plexiglass dividers between desks or office spaces. So too, a power to improve “sanitation” would easily extend to requiring vaccinations against CO VID-19, the seasonal flu, or other diseases. Or to mandatory social distancing, coughing-into-elbows, and daily multivitamins….” [9]

Further the infringement on the powers of the state was important. As were the guidance in the statute that Congress authorised the CDC to deal with foreign travel and not domestic\interstate travel. It was also found illegal that the public were not allowed a voice which is required by law.

Finally the judge found the claim by the CDC that masks were needed without providing any evidence to prove this, extremely troubling and highly insufficient to restrict the liberties of all people including the healthy [9]

“Although a closer question than the failure to properly invoke the good cause exception, the Mask Mandate fails this reasoned-explanation standard. Beyond the primary decision to impose a mask requirement, the Mask Mandate provides little or no explanation for the CDC’s choices. Specifically, the CDC omits explanation for rejecting alternatives and for its system of exceptions. And there are many, such that the overall efficiency of masking on airplanes or other conveyances could reasonably be questioned.” [9]

“…the Mask Mandate fails this reasoned-explanation standard. Beyond the primary decision to impose a mask requirement, the Mask Mandate provides little or no explanation for the CDC’s choices. Specifically, the CDC omits explanation for rejecting alternatives and for its system of exceptions. And there are many, such that the overall efficiency of masking on airplanes or other conveyances could reasonably be questioned.” [9]

“The Mandate does not address alternative (or supplementary) requirements to masking, such as testing, temperature checks, or occupancy limits in transit hubs and conveyances. It also does not explain why all masks – homemade and medical-grade – are sufficient. Nor does it require “social distancing [or] frequent handwashing,” despite finding these effective strategies for reducing CO VID-19 transmission…” [9]

“Even if these alternatives were not so obvious that the CDC had to explain its decision to reject them, the Mandate fails to explain other significant choices. For example, the Mandate relies on studies explaining that “universal masking” reduces transmission of COVID-19 at the community level. 86 Fed. Reg. at 8028.” [9]

“But the Mandate does not require universal masking. It exempts individuals who are “eating, drinking, or taking medication” and a person who is “experiencing difficulty breathing” or who is “feeling winded.” It also excludes individuals who cannot wear a mask due to an ADA-recognized disability and all children under two years old. The Mandate makes no effort to explain why its purposes-prevention of transmission and serious illness-allow for such exceptions. Nor why a two-year-old is less likely to transmit COVID-19 than a sixty-two­ year-old….” [9]

“In sum, irrespective of whether the CDC made a good or accurate decision, it needed to explain why it acted as it did. Since the CDC did not explain its decision to compromise the effectiveness of its Mandate by including exceptions or its decision to limit those exceptions, the Court cannot conclude that the CDC “articulated a ‘rational connection between the facts found and the choices made.”[9]

 

Aftermath

Government Reaction

“The agencies are reviewing the decision and assessing potential next steps. In the meantime, today’s court decision means CDC’s public transportation masking order is not in effect at this time,” according to a Biden administration official. [1]

“Therefore, TSA will not enforce its Security Directives and Emergency Amendment requiring mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs at this time.” [1]

 
Defendant’s Response

“The court agreed with our main arguments and rejected the CDC’s justifications for the mask order,” said Daviller Law Group attorney Brant C. Hadaway. “The judge found that the CDC exceeded its statutory authority, and that the CDC’s interpretation of its authority was not entitled to deference.” [6]

“An agency is also supposed to provide notice and comment and reasonably explain itself,” Hadaway said. “The CDC’s mask order fell short of both requirements.” [6]

“Without any public comment, or serious scientific justification, CDC bureaucrats imposed a sweeping Travel Mask Mandate applying to every American over the age of two,” said HFDF President Leslie Manookian. “There are laws that set boundaries for federal agencies to protect individual freedom and the Court clearly found that CDC exceeded those limits. Unelected officials cannot do whatever they like to our personal freedoms just because they claim good motives and a desirable goal.” [6]

 
Airlines Response

United Airlines has put out an official statement that clarified that it will no longer be enforcing masks on airline travel. [10]

Effective immediately, masks are no longer required at United on domestic flights, select international flights (dependent upon the arrival country’s mask requirements) or at U.S. airports,” UA said in a statement. [10]

Alaska Airlines has also reportedly lifted its mask mandate. [10]

The TSA announced it was no longer enforcing it. [10]

Admin Official: “Today’s court decision means CDC’s public transportation masking order is not in effect at this time. Therefore, TSA will not enforce its Security Directives and Emergency Amendment requiring mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs at this time” [11]

Both United and American Airlines tell @ABC  they will continue to require masks on board aircraft for customers and employees, “despite the decision by a federal judge on Monday that struck down the federal mask mandate” as they await on more guidance from the US government. [12]

 
more

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said,

“Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic the CDC has unlawfully exceeded its authority and discredited the agency by its contradictory and ever-changing statements. This court decision is yet another blow to the CDC and the Biden administration. Many people have been harassed, punished, and fined over the travel mask mandates stemming from the CDC’s unlawful policy. Any traveler who was punished over this mask mandate should have that punishment reversed. The CDC should be the watch dog to protect public health. However, like the FDA, it has become the lapdog for the pharmaceutical industries and specials interest groups. Liberty Counsel is continuing the fight to get all the shot mandates overturned.” [13]

 


Further Research

Court Documents:
In the news:

 

Media


VICTORY! Meet The Team Behind The CDC Mask Mandate Repeal

source: Odysee\theAmericanJournal


Court Defeats CDC Mask Mandates -Apr 22, 2022

source: odysee\shortXXvids


Masks Off! Should we Applaud?

source: Ron Paul Liberty Report


HFDF Lawyers Discuss Mask Suit & more on CA61

source: Odysee\Corona-Ausschuss


SouthWest Airways Passengers Cheer End of Mask Mandate

source: capitalismmagazine.com


Mask Science according to the Industrial Hygienists

source: tyscienceguy.com


Why Masks Don’t Work Pt. 1 -Apr 5 2022

source: odysee\shortXXvids


Why Masks Don’t Work Pt. 2 -Apr 5 2022

source: odysee\shortXXvids


US Army Doctor Vaccine Whistleblower -Apr 13, 2022

source: odysee\shortXXvids


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Pfizer FOIA Case

Pfizer FOIA Case

Pfizer FOIA Case

Re: the Legality of Pfizer taking 75 years to release the data on its covid vaccine

 

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Facts of the Case

  • Dates: Jan 6, 2022
  • Location: USA
  • Court: US District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Div.
  • Case #: 4:21-cv-1058-P
  • Plaintiff: PHMPT, Plaintiff
  • Defendant: FDA
  • Trial Type: FOIA Request
  • Judge:
  • Status: Dedided
  • Verdict: for the Plaintiff


 

Background

The Firm of Attorney Aaron Siri, on behalf of Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency (PHMPT), and an unnamed client made a request : that the FDA produce all the data submitted by Pfizer to license its Covid-19 vaccine. [1]

The FDA asked the Court for permission to only be required to produce at a rate of 500 pages per month, which would have taken over 75 years to produce all the documents. [1]

 

This case involves the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”). Specifically, at issue is Plaintiff’s FOIA request seeking “[a]ll data and information for the Pfizer Vaccine enumerated in 21 C.F.R. § 601.51(e) with the exception of publicly available reports on the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System” from the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”). See ECF No. 1. As has become standard, the Parties failed to agree to a mutually acceptable production schedule; instead, they submitted dueling production schedules for this Court’s consideration. Accordingly, the Court held a conference with the Parties to determine an appropriate production schedule.[1] See ECF Nos. 21, 34. [2]

 

Significance

According to Siri, this case about the importance of transparency and the excessive role of : government federal “health”  authorities have had on the data needed for independent scientists to offer solutions and address serious issues with the current vaccine program – issues which include waning immunity, variants evading vaccine immunity, and, as the CDC has confirmed, that the vaccines do not prevent transmission. [1]

 

Plaintiff’s Argument

The Plaintiff argued that the documents should be made public as it has a right to know what it has bought and paid for.  The issue is about transparency and the ability of scientists and everyone involved in the management of a crisis to have the best information available in order to serve the society as efficiently and usefully as possible. [1]

No person should ever be coerced to engage in an unwanted medical procedure. And while it is bad enough the government violated this basic liberty right by mandating the Covid-19 vaccine, the government also wanted to hide the data by waiting to fully produce what it relied upon to license this product until almost every American alive today is dead. That form of governance is destructive to liberty and antithetical to the openness required in a democratic society. [1]

 

Defendant’s Argument

…More information is needed…

 

Relevant Prior Judgements/ Cases

The Court order discussed the following cases: [2]

  • “[t]he basic purpose of FOIA is to ensure an informed citizenry, [which is] vital to the functioning of a democratic society.” NLRB v. Robbins Tire & Rubber Co., 437 U.S. 214, 242 (1977). “
  • FOIA was [therefore] enacted to ‘pierce the veil of administrative secrecy and to open agency action to the light of public scrutiny.’” Batton v. Evers, 598 F.3d 169, 175 (5th Cir. 2010) (quoting Dep’t of the Air Force v. Rose, 425 U.S. 352, 361 (1976)).
  • And “Congress has long recognized that ‘information is often useful only if it is timely’ and that, therefore ‘excessive delay by the agency in its response is often tantamount to denial.’” Open Soc’y Just. Initiative v. CIA, 399 F. Supp. 3d 161, 165 (S.D.N.Y. 2019) (quoting H.R. REP. NO. 93-876, at 6271 (1974)).
  • When needed, a court “may use its equitable powers to require an agency to process documents according to a court-imposed timeline.” Clemente v. FBI, 71 F. Supp. 3d 262, 269 (D.D.C. 2014).

 

Decision

A federal judge soundly rejected the FDA’s request and ordered the FDA to produce all the data at a clip of 55,000 pages per month! [1]

The Judge recognized that the release of this data is of paramount public importance and should be one of the FDA’s highest priorities. He then aptly quoted James Madison as saying a “popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy” and John F. Kennedy as explaining that a “nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.” [1]

According to the order: [2]

“[t]he basic purpose of FOIA is to ensure an informed citizenry, [which is] vital to the functioning of a democratic society.” NLRB v. Robbins Tire & Rubber Co., 437 U.S. 214, 242 (1977). “FOIA was [therefore] enacted to ‘pierce the veil of administrative secrecy and to open agency action to the light of public scrutiny.’”
there may not be a “more important issue at the Food and Drug Administration . . . than the pandemic, the Pfizer vaccine, getting every American vaccinated, [and] making sure that the American public is assured that this was not [] rush[ed] on behalf of the United States . . . .” ECF No. 34 at 46. Accordingly, the Court concludes that this FOIA request is of paramount public importance. [2]
“[S]tale information is of little value.” Payne Enters., Inc. v. United States, 837 F.2d 486, 494 (D.C. Cir. 1988). The Court, agreeing with this truism, therefore concludes that the expeditious completion of Plaintiff’s request is not only practicable, but necessary.[2]
Accordingly, having considered the Parties’ arguments, filings in support, and the applicable law, the Court ORDERS that:
[2]

  1. The FDA shall produce the “more than 12,000 pages” articulated in its own proposal, see ECF No. 29 at 24, on or before January 31, 2022.
  2. The FDA shall produce the remaining documents at a rate of 55,000 pages every 30 days, with the first production being due on or before March 1, 2022, until production is complete.
  3. To the extent the FDA asserts any privilege, exemption, or exclusion as to any responsive record or portion thereof, FDA shall, concurrent with each production required by this Order, produce a redacted version of the record, redacting only those portions as to which privilege, exemption, or exclusion is asserted.
  4. The Parties shall submit a Joint Status Report detailing the progress of the rolling production by April 1, 2022, and every 90 days thereafter.

Aftermath

…More information is needed…

 


Further Research

Court Documents:
In the news:
  • …More information is needed…

other:

 

Media

……

source: ….

….

source: ….

 

References

  1. Court Orders FDA to Produce Pfizer Covid-19 Data at a rate of 500 pages per month
  2. The Judge’s Ruling / Order

 

Keyword

Aaron, Adverse reactions, CDC, Data, FOIA, Informed Citizenry, JFK, Kennedy, License, Madison, Pfizer, Secrecy, Siri, Transparency, Trial, usa, Vaccine, VAERS


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