By Nathalie Voit

A Tampa federal judge struck down a public transit mask mandate issued by the Biden administration on April 18, ruling that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) exceeded its authority when it extended the order.

In a court ruling on Monday, U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle said the CDC did not adequately justify its decision for the mandate or adhere to federal rulemaking procedures.

The judge also wrote that the government relied on an overly broad definition of “sanitation” when it created the law.

“Wearing a mask cleans nothing,” she wrote. The Trump appointee noted that she used a narrower definition of “limited to cleaning measures” when reviewing the order.

A Biden administration official said the Transportation Securities Administration (TSA) would cease to enforce the CDC’s mask mandate in response to the ruling. The agency is responsible for enforcing the face mask requirement on public transportation and transportation hubs.

However, the CDC recommends people continue to use masks while on planes, trains, and other forms of public transportation.

“The agencies are reviewing the decision and assessing potential next steps. In the meantime, today’s court decision means CDC’s public transportation masking order is not in effect at this time,” the official said.

The news comes less than one week after the TSA announced it would extend the mandate through May 3 as per the CDC’s recommendation. The order was set to expire on April 18.

The White House could still appeal the ruling, according to press secretary Jen Psaki.