Mask mandate debacle represents 'abdication of responsibility' by Congress: Sol Wisenberg

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“Sunday Night in America” discussed the recent ruling by a Florida federal judge to block the mask mandate on public transportation.

Host Trey Gowdy remarked that in the aftermath of the ruling, it appeared that Congress abdicated its power to the CDC in order to try and reinstate the mandates. Former deputy independent counsel and Fox News contributor Sol Wisenberg explained how Congress gave up its authority. 

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The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been criticized and mocked from all sides after a series of muddled messages have baffled Americans amid a record surge in COVID-19 cases and the spread of the omicron variant. (iStock)

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been criticized and mocked from all sides after a series of muddled messages have baffled Americans amid a record surge in COVID-19 cases and the spread of the omicron variant. (iStock)
(iStock)

“That is a very difficult decision but basically the CDC, as you pointed out, the Center for Disease Control where do they get their power? Congress gave them the power to set regulations to stop the spread of communicable diseases. And as part of that power, Congress said you can pass regulations about sanitation,” Wisenberg explained. 

While the Biden administration has said that it would look to the CDC on whether to repeal the decision, Wisenberg agreed with Gowdy that there is nothing stopping Congress from ruling on masks directly.

“Obviously Congress can’t legislate every little aspect of our daily lives. We’ve had an incredible increase of federal power since the New Deal in the 1930s, and they can’t do everything. But this is really a major issue that Congress can speak to. It’s not particularly difficult. You don’t need to have a bureaucrat make that decision. Certainly there’s science involved, but there’s no reason Congress couldn’t do it, so you’re right, but that’s what they do,” Wisenberg said.

The U.S. Capitol Building Dome is seen before the sun rises in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The U.S. Capitol Building Dome is seen before the sun rises in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

He also added “A lot of what is going on now with legislation is abdication of responsibility because if you give them the responsibility you can criticize them if something goes wrong.”

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Democrats and media pundits have criticized the decision as well as the judge who was appointed by former President Trump. Wisenberg said he disagreed with aspects of the ruling however, he insisted that it was “not outlandish” compared to other rulings.

“I think that some of the criticisms of her decision, this part of her decision, are valid. On the other hand, what she did, what she ruled is not outside the judicial mainstream in terms of how we look at statute,” he said.

He concluded by arguing that there is “total hypocrisy by both parties” on judicial activism overruling executive and legislative power.

Mass transit riders wear masks as they commute in the financial district of lower Manhattan, Tuesday, April 19, 2022, in New York. The Justice Department is filing an appeal seeking to overturn a judge’s order that voided the federal mask mandate on planes and trains and in travel hubs. The notice came minutes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asked the Justice Department to appeal the decision handed down by a federal judge in Florida earlier this week. 

Mass transit riders wear masks as they commute in the financial district of lower Manhattan, Tuesday, April 19, 2022, in New York. The Justice Department is filing an appeal seeking to overturn a judge’s order that voided the federal mask mandate on planes and trains and in travel hubs. The notice came minutes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asked the Justice Department to appeal the decision handed down by a federal judge in Florida earlier this week. 
(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

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“Of all the hypocrisies in modern political life, there is nothing like the hypocrisy of both parties when it comes to judicial activism. There are really no principles at stake,” Wisenberg said. “The judges who issued nationwide injunctions invalidating President Trump’s policies on immigration, border control, and national security which he absolutely had the authority to do, and yet they did it repeatedly and there was no criticism of them by the left.”

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