Conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas surprisingly rejected an emergency request Tuesday to halt President Biden’s federal mask mandate that applies to public transportation without referring it to the full court.
The appeal was brought before the high court by Lucas Wall, a Washington, D.C. man who is a frequent flyer and claims that his Generalized Anxiety Disorder made it impossible for him to follow the “improper, illegal, and unconstitutional” mandate in order to board a flight departing Orlando, Florida in June according to the Washington Examiner.
Wall admitted that his appeal was a “long-shot” considering he is still awaiting a trial before a district court in Florida. “Of course it’s still disappointing Justice Thomas did not take a more in-depth look at the illegal and unconstitutional mask requirement,” he remarked.
Wall still believes he will win his case eventually.
“For now, the federal government has prevailed in muzzling all travelers and banning tens of millions of Americans including myself who can’t tolerate having their face covered from using any form of public transportation,” he stated. As it stands now, he will not be able to fly due to his condition.
Thomas gave no explanation for his decision in the case. He oversees appeals from Florida and therefore made the ruling.
The Supreme Court has previously signaled that it is open to reversing pandemic mandates, especially when it comes to religious gatherings. It recently ruled that California had to allow in-home religious meetings. Wall believed that since the court seemed to lean in that direction that it might strike down the public transportation mask mandate as well.
Wall is suing the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, President Biden, the Transportation Security Administration, and 5 other defendants, according to a statement on a fundraising page.
He has also filed suit against seven airlines for illegally discriminating against passengers who can’t wear masks. Those include Southwest, Alaska, Allegiant, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, and Spirit. He claims those “airlines are violating the Air Carrier Access Act by discriminating against passengers with disabilities who seek exemptions from mask rules.”
He is not alone in seeking to strike down the mask mandate. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced legislation to do away with the transportation mandate as well. His bill would prohibit federal agencies from imposing “any federal requirement related to COVID-19 that an individual wear a face mask when utilizing any conveyance…or transportation hub.”
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“The federal government forcing the American people to continue to wear masks despite the fact that we’ve already reached herd immunity is ridiculous and needs to end immediately. I am introducing the Travel Mask Mandate Repeal Act of 2021 to put a stop to this nanny state mandate of requiring masks on public transportation,” Paul told Fox News in an interview.
“In a free country people will evaluate their personal risk factors and are smart enough to ultimately make medical decisions like wearing a mask themselves,” he added.
In June, a group of Republicans led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) also introduced a resolution formally calling on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to lift its mask mandate for fully vaccinated individuals who use public transportation.
Cruz was joined by Republican Sens. Susan Collins (ME), Jerry Moran (KS), Roger Wicker (MS), Cynthia Lummis (WY), and Marsha Blackburn (TN). He contended that the CDC’s guidance that fully vaccinated individuals are not required to wear masks in most settings should also apply when traveling on commercial planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation.
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