Alaska joins other states in lawsuit challenging public transportation federal mask mandate

Published: Mar. 29, 2022 at 1:02 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The state of Alaska has joined 20 other states in a lawsuit against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention challenging the federal mask mandate on public transportation, according to a news release from the Department of Law.

The mandate, which went into effect in January 2021, requires travelers to wear face masks while using public transportation or facilities. This includes commercial airlines, trains, boats and other means of travel.

“The State of Alaska will continue to fight for the rights of its citizens,” Gov. Mike Dunleavy said in a statement in the release. “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.”

The lawsuit argues that the CDC does not have the authority to impose the mandate 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,” the release said.

People who fail to comply with the mandate are subject to criminal penalties, according to the release.

“Ignoring the standard established under the Administrative Procedure Act is not only illegal but deeply concerning,” state Attorney General Treg Taylor said in a statement in the release. “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.”

Other states in the lawsuit are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.

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