Here are some of the legal news stories making headlines this week:

The Department of Justice will appeal the federal district court decision that struck down the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s mask mandate for public transportation.

  • On Monday, a federal district court judge in Florida struck down the CDC’s mask mandate for airplanes, buses, trains, and other public transportation and hubs. Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle ruled that the mandate exceeded the statutory authority Congress granted to the CDC to prescribe rules to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. According to Mizelle, “the power bestowed on the CDC would be breathtaking” if it were permitted to enforce such a mandate.
  • Immediately following the ruling, the Transportation Security Administration announced that it would no longer enforce the mandate.
  • Now, the CDC has asked DOJ to appeal the ruling because it has determined that the mask mandate “remains necessary for the public health.” Earlier this week, DOJ had said it would appeal the decision if the CDC requested it.

A federal judge in Georgia ruled that a lawsuit seeking to disqualify Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from running for re-election to Congress because of her role in the January 6th Capitol attack can proceed to the next stage of litigation. 

  • The lawsuit against Greene is grounded in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which prohibits any person who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” from holding federal or state office.
  • Judge Amy Totenberg rejected Greene’s effort to suspend the lawsuit ahead of next month’s primary election. “This case involves a whirlpool of colliding constitutional interests of public import. The novelty of the factual and historical posture of this case — especially when assessed in the context of a preliminary injunction motion reviewed on a fast track — has made resolution of the complex legal issues at stake here particularly demanding,” Totenberg wrote.
  • Last month, a judge in North Carolina blocked a similar disqualification lawsuit filed against Rep. Madison Cawthorn. Other similar lawsuits are pending against, among others, Reps. Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs.

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