Alaska challenges federal mask mandate

Attorney General Treg Taylor joined a coalition of states in a lawsuit against the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). challenging the mask mandate on public transportation. The lawsuit asserts that the state of the science has changed immensely over the past year, as admitted by the CDC itself, and yet, the unlawful and unnecessary mask mandate remains in place.

“The State of Alaska will continue to fight for the rights of its citizens,” said Governor. Dunleavy. “It has been a tough two years, and although certain precautions may have been necessary early on, the science shows they are no longer needed. The CDC needs to get back into its lane and release its stranglehold on private citizens and businesses. Let Alaskans decide for themselves how to best protect their health.”

First issued in January 2021, the federal mask mandate requires travelers to wear masks while using public transportation services or facilities, including commercial airlines, trains, boats, and other conveyances.

The lawsuit argues that that the CDC does not have the authority to introduce or enforce these restrictions on American citizens. This measure was not authorized by Congress, and the CDC did not put the mandate up for notice and comment, which is typically required for these type of regulations.

“Ignoring the standard established under the Administrative Procedure Act is not only illegal but deeply concerning,” states Attorney General Treg Taylor. “The CDC’s pattern of behavior continues to undermine the separation of powers doctrine embedded in our Constitution and Americans right to participate in the regulatory process through notice and comment.”

Individuals will be subjected to criminal penalties if they fail to comply with the Administration’s mask mandate. According to the lawsuit, this blanket preventative measure would be equivalent to creating a general federal police power.

The Administration is facing a similar lawsuit over the federal mask mandate from a group of airline pilots who referred to the regulation as unconstitutional and unsafe.

Alaska is joined in the lawsuit by Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.