Arizona joins 21-state lawsuit seeking to end transportation mask mandate

Mar 29, 2022, 3:00 PM
People walk through Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on Dec. 18, 2021. (Photo by Spencer Pl...
People walk through Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on Dec. 18, 2021. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – Arizona joined a 21-state coalition in a lawsuit filed Tuesday seeking to end the nationwide requirement for face masks on airplanes and other public transportation.

The complaint submitted in federal court in Tampa, Florida, argues that the mandate instituted over a year ago to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 exceeds U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authority.

“This lingering mask mandate is another sad example of government that is out-of-line and out-of-touch,” Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in a press release.

“It’s time to relieve American families of this unconstitutional, ineffective and ridiculously burdensome policy.”

Since Feb. 1, 2021, the CDC has required masks covering the nose and mouth for people using public transportation, including on planes, trains and buses and at hubs such as airports and stations.

The COVID-19 risk of has been steadily declining across the nation over the last month or so to the point where the CDC classified just 1.7% of all counties as having a high community level.

The transportation mask rule has been relaxed somewhat but was recently extended until at least April 18 for domestic and international travel in general.

The lawsuit seeks to permanently ban enforcement of the mandate and asks to have costs and attorneys’ fees covered.

Arizona joined Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia on the list of plaintiffs.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Arizona joins 21-state lawsuit seeking to end transportation mask mandate