Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against the Biden administration regarding its “illegal” mask mandate for airports and airlines, claiming it’s time to “strike down” the requirements.
Paxton filed the lawsuit alongside the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) on behalf of Republican Rep. Beth Van Duyne. The case was filed against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Director Rochelle Walensky, Chief of Staff Sherri Berger, and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.
“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.
“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,” he added.
The legal case is Paxton’s 22nd lawsuit against the Biden administration. “Masks on planes are not only silly, but illegal too,” the attorney general tweeted on Wednesday.
Just filed my 22nd suit against Biden, this time regarding anti-science, virtue-signaling masks on airlines & airports. Masks on planes are not only silly, but illegal too. Proud to join @TPPF, @robhenneke, @Bethvanduyne in restraining Dems’ lawless gov’t. End the mask mandates!
— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) February 16, 2022
Van Duyne also took to social media to announce her case against the airport mandate.
“Sued the CDC today. Masks on planes are unnecessary. Thanks to @TPPF for helping make this happen so we can continue the fight to end mandates and bureaucratic control of American lives!” she wrote.
Sued the CDC today. Masks on planes are unnecessary. Thanks to @TPPF for helping make this happen so we can continue the fight to end mandates and bureaucratic control of American lives!
— Beth Van Duyne (@Bethvanduyne) February 16, 2022
“The complaint argues that Congress has never given the CDC authority ‘to make or enforce regulations that amount to a blanket preventative measure against people that may or may not carry infectious disease.’ The CDC exercising such authority violates the separation of powers and constitutes an abuse of power,” according to a statement from the TPPF.
“The CDC is relying on specific and narrowly tailored provisions in the law to exercise enormously broad powers Congress has not granted the agency,” Matt Miller, senior attorney with TPPF, said in the statement.
“If someone were to be known to have COVID-19, the agency could then take steps to prevent that person from spreading the disease to others. But the CDC has no authority to make rules that limit the freedom of millions of travelers without any evidence in the hopes it may have some preventative effect,” he added.
“With their constantly changing science, fluctuating recommendations and oppressive need to control all aspects of society, the CDC has caused our country untold damage,” Van Duyne added. “It is time for all mandates to be lifted, including those affecting airline passengers.”
The TPPF believes the time is right for the courts to end the airport mandate.
“The good news is the courts have seen this kind of thing from the CDC in at least two previous cases and ruled it overstepped its authority,” Nate Curtisi, attorney with TPPF, wrote in the statement.
“Perhaps a third strike will send the message that the American people will not accept agencies ignoring their limits, abusing their power, and making an end run around Congress,” he added.
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