Biden Challenging Courts Risks Backfiring, Reports Suggest

( The Biden administration has decided to move forward with appealing a ruling by a federal judge’s decision this week that overturned the mandate that passengers and crew on modes of transportation wear a mask.
While it would initially seem to be an expected move for the liberal White House, many political and legal experts are agreeing that it’s a move that carries with it a lot of risk.
These experts are saying that if the Biden administration takes the appeal all the way up to the Supreme Court, it could end up having a precedent set that could have far-reaching consequences on the future. The federal judge who struck down the mask mandate was appointed by former President Donald Trump, and the high court has an overwhelming conservative majority.
Following the federal judge’s ruling, which was handed down on Monday, Cornell Law School professor Michael Dorf said:
“I think that this is fairly radical administrative law. But, it’s really radical administrative law for which there might be five votes in the Supreme Court.”
In other words, even if he doesn’t agree with the ruling, Dorf says it could see plenty of support in the high court. And if the Supreme Court were to rule on it, that would set a big precedent that future legal cases could be argued against.
In issuing her ruling, U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle overturned the mask mandate that was previously in place for all buses, trains and planes. The judge’s determined that the mandate had exceeded authority that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has.
Many legal experts said earlier this week that the Biden administration should want to wipe this decision off the record books by appealing. But, there are some big risks to doing so.
On one hand, the process of the appeal could end up dragging so far on that it outlasts the actual necessity of the mask mandate — even from the eyes of the Biden administration. In addition, if the Biden administration loses in court yet again, it would hold much higher-stakes than this decision does.
As Dorf explained:
“There’s a risk that if you appeal you turn what is a bad judgment on a policy you’re phasing out anyway, but that sets no precedent, into the law of the land that is now going to constrain you in other cases.”
If the precedent were set by a Supreme Court ruling in the same direction, for example, it could limit the Biden administration — and future White House administrations — from exercising current authority they hold through the CDC or other federal government agencies.
That’s what George Washington University public health professor Leana Wen warned about when she spoke with media outlet The Hill earlier this week. Wen said that at stake would be the authority the federal government holds over public health.
As she explained:
“There may be a new variant or some other virus altogether that arises that may be a lot more lethal or contagious. The CDC needs to maintain public health authority in order to respond to a new threat in the future.”