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Justice Dept. will appeal the judge's mask ruling only if the mandate is still needed

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The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

The CDC continues to assess public health conditions, and if the agency determines a mandate is necessary, the Justice Department will file an appeal.

The Justice Department says it will not appeal a federal district judge’s ruling that ended the nation’s federal mask mandate on public transit unless the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes the requirement is still necessary.

U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, who is based in Tampa, on Monday ended the sweeping mandate, which required face coverings on planes and trains and in transit hubs.

Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said Tuesday that officials believe the federal mask order was “a valid exercise of the authority Congress has given CDC to protect the public health.”

The CDC continues to assess public health conditions, and if the agency determines a mandate is necessary, the Justice Department will file an appeal.

President Joe Biden went all-in on flexibility Tuesday when asked if Americans should mask up on planes.

“That’s up to them,” Biden declared during a visit to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. But the White House continues to require face coverings for those traveling with him on Air Force One, citing CDC guidance.

Click here for more of this article and the latest on the mask ruling from the Associated Press.