Texas is taking the Biden administration to court in a bid to end the federal mask mandate for planes and other public transport. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Republican US Rep. Beth Van Duyne filed a lawsuit in federal court Wednesday, arguing that the mandate is unconstitutional and the CDC doesn't have the power to impose it, the Texas Tribune reports. "Biden's repeated disregard of the individual liberties of Texans is not only disrespectful to the US Constitution, it is also troublesome that any president thinks they can act above the law while hardworking Americans standby," Paxton said in a statement, per CNN.
The mandate, which also applies to trains, buses, and indoor areas at airports and other transport hubs, has been in place since Jan. 2021 and is due to expire on March 18. The lawsuit, which is seeking a permanent injunction against the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services, could be a longshot: The Supreme Court recently declined to hear a similar case that sought to block the federal mandate, reports the New York Times. (In December, airline CEOs told Congress that the air quality in aircraft cabins is so high that masks might be unnecessary.)