The Supreme Court has left in place a ruling that allowed the Transportation Security Administration to require masks on airplanes during the pandemic.
The high court’s move on Monday won’t bring masks back to public transportation but it leaves in place a precedent set by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which said the TSA had the authority to mandate face coverings on public transport in national emergencies.
The TSA removed its mandate last spring after a lower-court judge, ruling in a separate case, said the administration overstepped its authority with the transportation mask mandate that President Biden issued at the start of his term.
Many entities were dropping mask mandates around the time of that April ruling, making public transportation an outlier. Yet the Department of Justice said it would appeal the ruling to preserve agencies’ powers in the future.
The Supreme Court swatted aside an appeal from Jonathan Corbett, a California lawyer who attempted to erase the D.C. Circuit’s precedent.