Published April 19, 2022
Leftists predictably criticized the ruling from a federal judge on Monday voiding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s mask mandate in transportation settings. They’re wrong. The decision was sound not only as a matter of law, but also a matter of public policy.
Judges decide legal questions, not political ones. That means critics of a judge’s ruling must first examine the merits of their reasoning. On that, U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle had to decide two separate questions: whether the CDC had the legal power to issue its mandate, and if so, whether it exercised such power within the bounds of the Administrative Procedure Act.
Henry Olsen is a Washington Post columnist and a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, studies and provides commentary on American politics. His work focuses on how America’s political order is being upended by populist challenges, from the left and the right. He also studies populism’s impact in other democracies in the developed world.