TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — 20 states are joining the state of Florida in a lawsuit against the federal mask mandate on public transportation.
Attorney General Ashley Moody and Governor Ron DeSantis announced the lawsuit on Tuesday.
In a press release, Moody's office called the mandate "unlawful" and said it "exceeds the authority of President Biden’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."
The other states included in the suit are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.
Virginia's Attorney General Jason Miyares released a statement on the multi-state action saying "“The CDC’s mask mandate on public transportation, like air travel, is scientifically unnecessary at this stage of the pandemic. Not only are the CDC’s mask mandates for public transportation an example of federal overreach, but they are outdated as states across the country have lifted mask mandates in other aspects of daily life.”
See the full lawsuit below.
In several instances, the lawsuit calls the mask mandate "arbitrary and capricious."
Florida leaders claim there is no "high-quality data to support the efficacy of mask mandates, case numbers and hospitalizations experiencing a large downward trend, and 81.7% of the population having received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine."
The lawsuit doesn't just call for an end to the mandate and a permanent injunction against enforcement, it also calls for the defendants to pay for attorney fees and other costs.
This story was first reported by Emily McCain at WFTS in Tampa, Fla.