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Attorney general joins lawsuit over mask mandates for travelers

A man wearing a COVID-19 mask.

Montana's attorney general is joining 20 states suing the federal government over mask mandates. The lawsuit seeks to have mask requirements lifted for mass transit like airplanes and buses.

In a press release, Attorney General Austin Knudsen said it’s “far past time for this overbearing mandate to go.” He argues the rule, administered through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is arbitrary and oversteps the agency’s authority.

The suit follows a call from major airlines to end the mandate.

The mandate was originally supposed to expire on March 18, but the Transportation Security Administration extended it through April 18. The CDC guidance says traveling on public transportation increases a person’s risk of getting and spreading COVID-19, and masks reduce that risk.

Shaylee is Montana Public Radio's Capitol reporter. She previously worked for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and covered the 2019 legislative session for the University of Montana's Legislative News Service.
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