The federal government and its agencies, such as the CDC does not have the authority to regulate intrastate travel (travel WITHIN any state). They can make certain requirements regarding travel BETWEEN states; although requiring masks is not one of them. So, if your local bus line says that “federal law” requires you to cover your face – it is a falsehood. The legislature may make a law regarding travel, but not the federal government.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an Order pdf icon[PDF – 11 pages] on January 29, 2021 requiring the wearing of masks by travelers and operators.
In this order, the CDC states that they have the authority to create such an order, as written in our code of law 42 U.S.C. 264.
Does 42 U.S.C. 264 give the CDC this authority?
The CDC does NOT have the authority to create an order for intrastate travel. That means that this order DOES NOT apply to flights within a state, or to buses, ferries, or any other conveyance in your village, town, city, or state, as long as the traveling remains within the state!
The CDC surgeon general, with approval from the secretary of Health and Human Services, can only create regulations that prevent the spread of infectious disease FROM A FOREIGN COUNTRY, or ACROSS STATES…..not, within a state.
And, the regulations must be “necessary”. We must ask the surgeon general for the proof that masks are “necessary” even for foreign and across state lines, is, necessary!
Further, has the HHS Acting Secretary Norris Cochran signed this CDC “order”? Our law says only the HHS Secretary has that authority.
Nope! It was signed by Martin S. Cetron, on February 1, 2021.
The code of law also says that the regulations the surgeon general makes MAY provide that individuals who are “reasonably believed to be infected” in a “qualifying stage” (coughing, sneezing, etc) with a communicable disease who is traveling across state lines can be detained, and if, upon examination they are found to be infected, for a time and in a manner that is considered to be “reasonably necessary.” However, they can’t detain you if you’re traveling within your state, at ALL!
Walking around without a mask is not a reason for anyone to reasonably believe that you may be infected.
Who has the authority to enforce isolation and quarantine because of a communicable disease? – Link to HH article
“The authority for carrying out these functions on a daily basis has been delegated to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”
Has the HHS Acting Secretary Norris Cochran signed the CDC “order”? No, see above. Our law says only the HHS Secretary has that authority.
This legal analysis was obtained from Peggy Hall at The Healthy American.
Other interesting things to note.
In the CDC “order” it says: “will remain in effect unless modified or rescinded based on specific public health or other considerations, or until the Secretary of Health and Human Services rescinds the determination under section 219 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 247d) that a public health emergency exists.”
This code of law does not state that the CDC has authority to suspend any laws or rights during a “declared emergency”:
Section 319 authorizes the secretary to determine that a public health emergency exists. This determination triggers emergency powers that permit the federal government to engage in activities such as assisting state and local governments, suspending or modifying certain legal requirements, and expending available funds to address the public health emergency.
The CDC order also states that the order applies to international travel, travel between states (interstate), travel on that is subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, which appears to be lawful according to 42 U.S.C. 264 discussed above; however it also says the order applies to INTRASTATE waterways subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. This travel WITHIN a state on the waterways CONTRADICTS the law 42 U.S.C. 264 in that the law only gives the CDC authority to make rules that apply to travel BETWEEN states, not WITHIN a state.
It also says the operator should use his “best efforts” to get those to comply. It doesn’t say that operators can PREVENT those who are not wearing a mask from boarding (first bullet). How can the operator provide proof that any person is “Refusing to comply” related to “best efforts” to disembark them (fourth bullet).
Also, this is not FEDERAL LAW (second bullet)…this is a temporary order.
Note, that anytime you see “CFR” that refers to the code of regulations…and that this is not the LAW (which is labeled USC)
And, in case you need a laugh, check out these exemptions to wearing masks according to the CDC order:
Finally, read this wonderful article from http://www.WheelChairTravel.org called U.S. Government: Airlines Must Waive Face Mask Rule for Disabled Passengers to find more information about the rights of disabled individuals when flying on airlines. This article also instructs on how to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division for any rights that may be violated (Air Carrier Access Act).