• Mask Mandate Struck Down

  • General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by eolesen
From Townhall.com

A United States District Court judge in Florida vacated the nationwide travel mask mandate on Monday in a ruling that found the mask requirement for travel via mass transit, planes, and trains violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The lengthy ruling explains how the Biden administration "improperly invoked the order and interpretive rule exceptions to notice and comment," "improperly invoked the good cause exception" to such rulemaking in a manner that "was not harmless error" and how the mandate "is arbitrary and capricious because the CDC failed to adequately explain its reasoning."

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents ... 7124235804

In the ruling, United States District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle — a Trump appointee — lays out a lengthy indictment of the Biden administration's rulemaking procedure and its conclusion: "the Mask Mandate exceeds the CDC's statutory authority and violates the APA."

"The Court recognizes the criticism about nationwide injunctive relief and admittedly shares some of the skepticism about it," the ruling states before explaining "the weight of authority and judicial practice instructs that vacatur is an appropriate remedy for an APA violation."

"The Mandate exceeded the CDC's statutory authority, improperly invoked the good cause exception to notice and comment rulemaking, and failed to adequately explain its decisions. Because 'our system does not permit agencies to act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends'...the Court declares unlawful and vacates the Mask Mandate."

As a result of the ruling, the Mandate is remanded to the CDC "for further proceedings consistent with this order" and airlines, railways, rideshares, and other public transportation entities are — for now at least — no longer required to enforce the now-vacated mandate.
  by photobug56
Wonder how long the first appeal will take.
  by lordsigma12345
Amtrak and MTA are keeping the mask mandate in place pending guidance from FRA and TSA and any appeals.
  by lordsigma12345
Apparently the administration has already issued guidance to the agencies including Amtrak. Masks are no longer required on Amtrak trains.
  by eolesen
Yup. AIrlines were initially holding off on saying anything until the WH advised around 5pm they wouldn't be challenging the order.
  by STrRedWolf
Confirmed Amtrak dropping it via website.

No confirmation from TSA, White House sites, MTA Maryland, MTA NYC, SEPTA, etc.

I'd give it a day. Still, keep the mask handy.
  by STrRedWolf
Listening to NBC Today show, but the report is here:
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/fl ... -rcna24853

In short: Major airlines and Amtrak has dropped it. DC WMATA has dropped it, but NYC MTA still has it up.
  by Ken W2KB
lordsigma12345 wrote: Mon Apr 18, 2022 7:10 pm Amtrak and MTA are keeping the mask mandate in place pending guidance from FRA and TSA and any appeals.
Statement regarding face mask use on public transportation
Monday, April 18, 2022
Due to today’s court ruling, effective immediately, TSA will no longer enforce its Security Directives and Emergency Amendment requiring mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs. TSA will also rescind the new Security Directives that were scheduled to take effect tomorrow. CDC continues to recommend that people wear masks in indoor public transportation settings at this time. https://www.tsa.gov/news/press/statemen ... sportation

  by Gilbert B Norman
Posting, as originally submitted, withdrawn.

as an addendum: there has now been a recission of any mask mandates relating to Illinois transit agencies..

Of interest, as I write this, the "Much needed face time just an Amtrak away" spot just aired. The passengers (actors) remain masked.

Oh but wait; "breaking": the Administration will appeal the ruling, stay tuned.
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Wed Apr 20, 2022 7:31 am, edited 3 times in total.
  by Ken W2KB
I posted the below on the NJ Transit Forum, and the same question applies to Amtrak:

">>>"Gov. Phil Murphy has ended the rule requiring face coverings on NJ Transit, a day after a federal judge voided the national mask mandate covering airplanes and other public transportation."<<<

Will this increase or decrease ridership? Many people are reluctant or flat out refuse to enter premises where mask use is minimal, due to personal safety or risk of contracting even a minor case and spreading Covid to their other family members and friends."
  by rcthompson04
SEPTA eliminated the mandate as well. I will let people know how many are still wearing masks tomorrow when I go to the office.

I am shocked how long it took for a challenge to strike down what was a power grab by the TSA from a statutory perspective. This isn't a commentary on the effectiveness of masks (with the widespread availability of quality protective masks you can protect yourself accordingly), but a comment on gross extension of statutory authority used by the TSA.
  by John_Perkowski
Admin note:

This applies to transit, commuter rail, and long distance rail. It’s not peculiar to Amtrak.

The topic will have a one week global status.
  by eolesen
Illinois still has an executive order EX2022-06 which is requiring masks on public transportation and in transportation hubs.

Presumably that includes Union Station, and it appears to be a point of contention at ORD and MDW right now.

No word if our larger than life governor has decided rescinded that order.
  by eolesen
And..... now Chicago has caught up with the rest of the country a day late. The mask mandate on Metra, CTA, and at the airports is now gone.

As of 2pm Tuesday:
https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/coronav ... w/2810106/

As of 5pm Tuesday:
https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/coronav ... s/2810848/

NYC is also apparently still requiring it at JFK/LGA and on MTA trains/buses/subways however NJT has dropped it as has EWR...

https://gothamist.com/news/why-mta-and- ... dropped-it