Mask mandate ruling reopens debate over nationwide court orders

  • Presidents of both parties have complained about nationwide injunctions by federal courts.
  • Polls show Americans are divided on party lines about extending transportation mask requirements.
  • Expert: Supreme Court may ultimately end up resolving lingering questions about nationwide orders.

WASHINGTON – A ruling by a federal judge in Florida upending the Biden administration’s mandate that Americans wear masks on airplanes and other forms of transportation appeared to catch travelers, airports and the White House off guard – creating a patchwork of rules that depend on a passenger’s destination.

One group not surprised by the outcome: Legal experts who study when and how federal courts block the enforcement of policies handed down by the executive branch – a phenomena that has vexed presidents of both parties and appears to be on the rise. 

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