Proponents of big-government regulations regarding mask use scored a victory this week in the nation’s highest court.
According to reports, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a ruling on Monday that upheld the Transportation Security Administration’s authority to implement mask mandates aboard commercial airliners, passenger trains, and certain other modes of transit.
The decision came in response to an argument by Jonathan Corbett, an attorney in California who asserted that the TSA did not have the power to enforce such requirements.
Supreme Court justices weighed in on the matter after a lower federal court in Florida ruled against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in April, effectively striking down the TSA’s ability to enforce mask mandates. The Biden administration denounced the decision and the case made its way to the high court.
First time in airport since mask mandate ended. 98% of Nashville airport travelers — and all TSA agents I saw — aren’t wearing masks. First time travel has felt totally normal in two years.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) April 28, 2022
Along the way, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit determined that the agency “plainly has the authority” necessary to implement public safety measures.
“Because we find no merit in Corbett’s claim, we deny the petition for review,” the court ruled. “The COVID-19 global pandemic poses one of the greatest threats to the operational viability of the transportation system and the lives of those on it seen in decades.”
Corbett asked the Supreme Court to find that “the D.C. Circuit’s broad expansion of agency authority” warranted a reversal, but justices opted to keep the ruling in place.
Following the lower court ruling that struck down the TSA’s mask mandate authority, a number of sources confirmed that airline passengers are safe aboard jets even without a mask.
During a CBS News interview in May, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby asserted that a plane “is the safest environment you’re going to be indoors anywhere that you are” due in large part to the high level of airflow within the cabin.
“That’s why being on an airplane next to two people in a middle seat is the equivalent of being 15 feet away from someone in a building,” he explained. “You’re safer sitting next to me on an airplane than you are sitting across from me right now.”