Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and U.S. Rep. Beth Van Duyne, R-Irving, are suing the Biden administration to end mask mandates on planes.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, argues that the mandate imposes a "restriction on travelers' liberty interests" and that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not have the authority to introduce such a blanket preventive measure.
First issued in January 2021, the federal mask mandate requires travelers to wear masks while using public transportation services or facilities, including airports and subway stations. Those who violate the mask mandate could be subject to fines.
Travelers younger than 2 years old or with disabilities who cannot wear a mask are exempt from the requirement. The CDC also amended the order in June 2021 and said the mandate would not apply to outdoor settings.
"Biden's repeated disregard of the individual liberties of Texans is not only disrespectful to the U.S. Constitution, it is also troublesome that any president thinks they can act above the law while hardworking Americans standby," Paxton said in a statement about the lawsuit. "President Biden cannot continue governing through executive edicts."
According to the suit, Van Duyne, whose district includes the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, has taken about 80 flights a year and would not wear a mask if it was not required. In June 2021, Van Duyne incurred a $500 charge for a second violation of the U.S. Capitol's mask policy.