A federal judge this week struck down the Biden administration’s mandate that all passengers must wear face masks on planes and trains. It was nice while we had the virus on the run.
The requirement comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stating “a person must wear a mask while boarding, disembarking, and traveling on any conveyance into or within the United States.” And if you’ve traveled in a plane or a train over the past two years, you know people can be real fucking babies about it.
On my last flight, from Denver to Washington, DC, a flight attendant asked a “gentleman” to pull his mask up from his chin to cover his mouth and nose. He whined, “But I have a beverage.” She told him he can pull the mask down when he takes a drink, not for the entire time he’s holding the drink in his hand, which was apparently the brilliant strategy he had put together to avoid wearing a face mask during a flight. He pulled his mask up while grumbling about it but he spent the rest of the flight with it down except whenever a flight attendant approached. He was told several more times to please pull his mask back up. Yes, he was a middle-aged white guy. Yes, he was an asshole.
Four airlines immediately rescinded their mask rules. Some passengers applauded and even threw their masks into the trash. But, they might want to keep those masks as the Biden administration is challenging the ruling. And if you threw away an N95, what, are you stupid? Those things are expensive. I left a brand new N95 in a Denver bathroom and I’m still kicking myself.
At the very least, we’ll stop hearing stories about unruly passengers refusing to wear a face mask, and we’ll start hearing stories of MAGAt passengers bullying other passengers for wearing a face mask. Ron DeSantis has made it popular to bully kids wearing face masks and Republicans LOVE Ron DeSantis because they love assholes. I’m wearing a facemask in my profile pics on Instagram and Truth Social (I’m still experimenting with it) and conservatives actually leave angry comments about it. There are often comments under my cartoons saying something like, “Of course, a mask wearer would create this shit.” It’s really divisive when it’s something that should be so simple. They say it’s a choice but scream at you when you make the choice to wear one. Also on Truth Social, my working for CNN is the second thing they scream about. “What? You work for CNN? You sonofabitch!!!!”
So, who made this ruling that the CDC can’t mandate wearing face masks for traveling? It came from Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, a U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Florida and a Trump appointee. This is a judge the American Bar Association (ABA) advised the Senate NOT to confirm. The ABA rated her as “Not Qualified.”
The ABA explained, “When a nominee is found ‘Not Qualified,’ the Committee has determined that the nominee does not meet the Committee’s standards with respect to one or more of its evaluation criteria – integrity, professional competence, or judicial temperament.”
The ABA determined Mizelle was “Not Qualified” because, “Since her admission to the bar, Ms. Mizelle has not tried a case, civil or criminal, as lead or co-counsel.”
Additionally, Mizelle had only been an attorney for eight years when Trump nominated her. The ABA’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary states appointees should have practiced for a minimum of 12 years. In case you’re a Republican, eight is less than 12. Mizelle had five years of experience in the trial courts. The ABA noted that Mizelle’s lack of experience was “a rather marked departure from the 12-year minimum.” Mizelle was at a law firm where she didn’t even have enough experience to make partner, but yeah…let’s make her a federal judge with a lifetime appointment.
In 2017, The Trump administration (sic) notified the ABA that they didn’t want to play with them anymore. They decided not to share background information on their judicial nominees with the ABA anymore. The George W. Bush administration did the same thing as they also nominated their fair share of fucknuts to federal judgeships. But, both administrations still relied upon the Federalist Society’s judgment, of which Mizelle is a member.
Here’s another fun detail to Mizelle’s lifetime appointment to a federal court: Remember how Republicans didn’t believe a president should nominate a Supreme Court justice in an election year? They argued that the people should have a say in these lifetime appointments, so let’s wait until after the election. How about lower federal lifetime seats? Well, Senate Republicans did wait until after the election to confirm Mizelle as they confirmed her in November 2020 AFTER the election was called for Joe Biden. The people spoke and chose Joe Biden to be president. The people didn’t want Trump OR Republicans in the Senate anymore but yet, the GOP Senate confirmed a judge to a lifetime appointment who was nominated by a lame-duck loser. Ya’ know, I’m starting to suspect Republicans might be hypocrites.
Mizelle’s ruling came down to this: The CDC has the authority to stop contaminations but doesn’t have the authority to prevent them. She also included wonky wingnut science writing that face masks don’t actually work and they actually trap COVID germs. Is it weird that Republicans don’t want the nation’s leading scientists and experts in infectious diseases to issue opinions about the COVID virus yet are comfortable with an inexperienced judge striking down health decisions? If this Florida (ack) judge can make health decisions for the entire nation, maybe we can let Dr. Anthony Fauci issue a few rulings on religion and abortion.
Honestly, I’m surprised she didn’t rule against wearing seat belts and not opening windows during flights.
Here’s the thing we’ve been telling MAGAts for over two years which they still don’t understand: You wear a facemask to protect others more than to protect yourself. It’s not about “freedom.” And believe it or not, most people in favor of mandates and who you see still wearing them in grocery stores HATE wearing them. I hate wearing them. It’s inconvenient…but it’s a slight inconvenience. It’s nothing to be a whiny entitled baby about. It’s the very least you can do for your neighbors, community, and country. But since it’s the very least, Republicans can’t do it.
Planes and trains are tightly sealed compressed cans full of humans. The number one situation where you want to wear a mask is while traveling, especially with mouth-breathing knuckle-dragging cave-dwelling MAGAt troglodytes. Even if we eliminate COVID, you might want to continue wearing a mask because some people (Republicans) are just nasty. I think airlines should start offering MAGAt-free sections. I don’t want to sit next to a conspiracy theorist who believes Disney and pizza shops are full of satanic deep state baby-eating pedophiles but thinks it’s okey-dokey for grown men to marry 12-year-olds.
I’ll be on a train next week for a short trip to DC, and I don’t care if there’s a mandate or not, I’m wearing one of my remaining N95s. And if you’re walking wearing an N95 face mask you found in a toilet stall in the men’s room in the Denver International Airport, you can keep it.
Music Note: My random player was on while I was drawing and it gave me some Neil Young, Tom Petty, The Who, and The Kinks. It tried to give me some Eagles but I skipped that shit. I hate the fucking Eagles, man.
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