In ICAN CEO Del Bigtree’s Mask Lawsuit, CDC Says No Plans to Re-Institute Travel Mask Mandate

Del’s lawsuit against the CDC over the travel mask mandate has been pending ever since August 2022 after a federal judge in a related case granted the nationwide injunction preventing enforcement of the mandate. Recently, with the COVID-19 national emergency ending and with it the CDC’s travel mask mandate, Del has agreed to end his lawsuit against the CDC but only after the agency has expressly promised, in writing, that it has no plans to reinstate the mask mandate.

Back in March 2022, after the White House and Congress both dropped their mask mandates, but CDC persisted in requiring masks on planes, trains, and buses, Del Bigtree announced that, with the help of ICAN’s attorneys, he had filed a lawsuit against the CDC. Watch Del’s original announcement here. That same month, ICAN’s attorneys separately filed a similar lawsuit on behalf of 17 members of Congress.

After a federal judge in Florida instituted a nationwide injunction against enforcement of the travel mask mandate in another case, the Congress Members helped support that lawsuit by filing a brief in the appeal in that case before the Eleventh Circuit.

While everyone was waiting for a decision, on April 10, 2023, President Biden signed H.J. Res. 7, which ended the COVID-19 national emergency and ultimately led the Eleventh Circuit to end the case as moot—meaning there was no relief for the court to grant because the plaintiffs had already gotten what they wanted: the end of the mandate.

Now, Del is pleased to announce that as part of ending his lawsuit, the CDC expressly agreed in writing that “defendant Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has represented that it is not aware of any present intention, plans, or discussions by defendants regarding reinstituting the mask mandate on aircraft.” And with that confirmation from the CDC, he agreed to resolve his case against the CDC. This is a win for all.

Rest assured ICAN will bring you any updates on this issue as they occur. Thank you for ensuring ICAN can continue its efforts to protect civil liberties.

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