- A group of fliers challenged the Biden administration’s mask mandates with six court filings.
- The federal court petitions sought an end to mask requirements for travelers.
- “Wearing face masks has nothing whatsoever to do with transportation security,” they said.
A coordinated group of anti-mask travelers on Tuesday filed six petitions in federal appellate courts across the country, with each filing arguing that the Biden administration’s mask mandates were unconstitutional.
The petitions were the latest step in a months-long legal campaign led by Lucas Wall, the Washington, D.C., a frequent flier who is suing the Biden administration and seven airlines. Wall filed the petition in the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta, but they each use his lawsuit as an exhibit.
The six petitions were filed by a combined 12 people, each of which said their medical conditions made it difficult or impossible to wear a face covering. Some said they suffered from anxiety disorders.
The legal arguments – and much of the individual wording – of each of the six petitions were identical. Each called for an end to the Biden administration’s “illegal and unconstitutional” mask mandates, which were extended for a second time through mid-January 2021.
The petitions argued that mask mandates didn’t fall under the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) legal mandate, which they said was “limited by law to address security threats.” They said Congress hasn’t given the agency “power to regulate the public health and welfare.”
“Wearing face masks has nothing whatsoever to do with transportation security,” the petitioners said.
A TSA spokesperson declined to comment on pending litigation.
The petitions challenged four orders put in place by the TSA, each of which cited President Joe Biden’s January executive order requiring masks for all travelers. The TSA orders – three security directives and one emergency amendment – were re-upped in August, before the TSA’s mask mandate was extended.
“None of these give TSA authority to require passengers to wear masks to possibly prevent the spread of a communicable disease such as COVID-19,” the petitioners said.