- A man suing the US over mask mandates said he’d seek oral arguments in front of a federal judge.
- Lucas Wall filed a 1,500-page response after Biden’s administration sought to dismiss the lawsuit.
- Wall filed 218 exhibits, including medical studies, news clippings, and blog posts.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Lucas Wall, a frequent flyer who’s suing the Biden administration over federal mask mandates, has pushed back on an effort to get his lawsuit dismissed.
On Wednesday, he filed a behemoth legal response, which renewed his argument that mandates were unconstitutional.
“It will take court action to ensure Americans will no longer have to give up their right to breathe freely as a condition of utilizing any mode of public transportation,” Wall told Insider.
Wall said he’d next seek oral arguments in front of a federal judge.
The government last week said in a motion seeking to dismiss Wall’s lawsuit that CDC medical experts had been put in charge of decisions about mask mandates – not the courts.
The government’s response to Wall appeared to be the first lengthy legal defense of the federal mask mandates. Those mandates were put in place following an executive order signed in January by President Joe Biden, who is named as a defendant in Wall’s lawsuit.
TSA on Wednesday extended transportation mask mandates through January 18.
Wall, who said he cannot wear a mask for medical reasons, filed his lawsuit in federal court in Florida. He also asked the Supreme Court for an emergency injunction, which Justice Clarence Thomas declined.
Wall, of Washington DC, in a 47-page brief filed on Wednesday argued that Congress hadn’t delegated the task of deciding to implement mask mandates directly to the CDC.
“Congress has vigorously debated mask mandates but failed to pass a single one. In fact, many lawmakers have pushed to terminate the CDC mandate,” he wrote.
The government also said Wall’s right to travel wasn’t threatened, partly because he could leave Florida at any time. Wall has also sued seven airlines, saying their mandates violate his rights.
“If masks are effective, why have so many TSA workers tested positive for coronavirus?” he wrote in his filing.
Many health officials are in favor of masks. Gerald Harmon, president of the American Medical Association, said the CDC’s updated guidance is needed to help curb the spread of COVID-19 – particularly the more contagious Delta variant. The WHO says masks are a key measure to suppress transmission and save lives.
The heft of Wall’s response on Wednesday was notable, in part because he’s representing himself. Along with a brief, Wall filed 218 exhibits that included medical studies, news clippings, and blog posts. His response totaled more than 1,500 pages, topping his original filing by a few hundred pages.
In his filing, he wrote: “The government whines about my complaint being long as well as full of facts and exhibits supporting those facts, but there is no inability to comprehend what they have been charged with as evidenced by their thorough arguments in opposition.”
But the length of the filing was also integral to Wall’s argument. Since the case was first filed, he’s included a total of 115 articles and scientific studies saying masks were ineffective. He noted that the government lawyers had submitted seven articles showing they were effective.
He said “the court must favor the evidence that overwhelmingly discredits CDC’s political position it attempts to justify by science.”
Last week, Wall spoke with Insider as he prepared his response. He was hunkered down in the spare bedroom at his mother’s home in The Villages, Florida, where he said he’s been stuck during the pandemic.
“Still at my mom’s, indoors in the air conditioning,” he said in a phone interview. “Hard to step outside in the heat and humidity of a Florida summer.”
He described gathering the material as “enjoyable” but also “a hell of a lot of work,” he said, adding: “It’s definitely a cause I strongly believe in.”
Insider has reached out to the CDC for comment.