Why Biden ducked as one judge derailed his transportation mask mandate

Why Biden ducked as one judge derailed his transportation mask mandate thumbnail

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My initial reaction was that this is just temporary.

When a federal judge in Florida ruled against the federal mask mandate for public transportation, I assumed the decision would be stayed and immediately appealed. After all, the Biden administration supported the mandate.

Immediately, some critics were asking how a 33-year-old judge in Central Florida, who clerked for Clarence Thomas and was appointed by Donald Trump, could single-handedly decide what’s best for the nationwide airline system. But that’s exactly what happened in the ruling by Kathryn Kimball Mizelle.

Biden speaks at the COP26 climate summit. 

Biden speaks at the COP26 climate summit.
(Fox News)

Biden simply punted, and the airlines stopped enforcing the mandate so abruptly that on some planes it happened mid-flight. Amtrak and the TSA followed their lead.

My personal view is that it was time. Why is it that maskless people can go to sports stadiums, offices, and stores, but must still wear a face covering on flights where the air filtration systems are upgraded? The mandate, which was due to expire in the near future, was extended for two weeks in kick-the can fashion.

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But the Biden administration’s muddled reaction was just mystifying, making the president seem like a bystander. If he decided to appeal the ruling, he did so because he still believes masks protect public safety. If he decided that people had had enough and that it was time to end the transportation rule, fine.

Travelers walk through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Friday, April 1, 2022, in Seattle.

Travelers walk through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Friday, April 1, 2022, in Seattle.
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

But instead, he delivered the worst of all worlds: paralysis. First, there is no comment on appealing. Then, word that the Justice Department will appeal-if the CDC decides that the mandate is still needed. Also, there was no decision. It was just dithering.

The administration only moved late yesterday after receiving increasing criticism. The DOJ appealed, citing a green signal from the CDC. It looked like it was, a bowing to liberal pressure. I’d bet some high-ranking phone calls were made, but again no announcement from President Obama.

How could this be? This is not a criminal probe. Biden can call his attorney general and ask him to appeal the matter as a matter policy. Waiting for the CDC to respond is a fool’s errand. They are always behind the curve on pandemics and can’t communicate a clear message.

This didn’t happen by accident. There was a pending suit. How could DOJ/CDC be so flat-footed?!

MSNBC’s Chuck Todd was frustrated with the Biden team. “They don’t fight back. They don’t defend the reasoning. They just give the emoji shrug.” “Repeatedly, the president and his aides looked as if it was easy to roll.” “

Jen Psaki called this a “disappointing” decision. Maybe your boss should take action?

Remember, the mask mandate for travelers is set to expire on May 3. Is it really worth the president’s time to invest political capital in such a short-term battle? Perhaps, with all the public divisions, he couldn’t decide what to do.

Also, keep in mind that the judge’s ruling does not prohibit people from wearing masks while riding or flying. It doesn’t require everyone to do it.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Friday, March 4, 2022.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Friday, March 4, 2022.
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Biden, asked by reporters whether Americans should wear masks on planes, said simply, “That’s up to them. “

Had Biden dropped the mandate, he would have enjoyed the benefits. The New Yorker said that Barack Obama is leading from behind again.

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The media have assumed because most passengers broke into cheers when the ruling was announced mid-flight that voiding it has widespread appeal. But in a Politico/Morning Consult poll just before the ruling, 59 percent said they support extending the travel mask mandate and 32 percent were opposed.

I understand why so many critics have concentrated on Judge Mizelle. She had never been to a trial before she was nominated and was unqualified by American Bar Association. Some Leftists are able to simply denounce the fact that Trump chose her.

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She ruled that the CDC had exceeded its legal authority, which turns on the semantics of the law. Some of the criticism she received was absurdly personal and not related to her legal reasoning. Yes, Trump judges are more likely to rule differently from Biden judges. We have elections because of this.

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Even with an omicron sub-variant pushing up COVID-19 cases by an average of 47 percent in the last two weeks, I don’t think the mask mandate is coming back in this political environment. It was a missed opportunity for a president with low approval ratings.

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