Third Person Sues Government Over Transportation Mask Mandate
A Chicago rideshare driver has become the third person to sue the federal government, saying his First Amendment rights are being violated by the Federal Transportation Mask Mandate.
Justin Mahwikizi, 36, of Homewood, Illinois, filed a federal lawsuit on June 28 not only against the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, but also against Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Mahwikizi says that the mask mandate violates his freedom of religion by forcing him to violate his faith in the Good Samaritan Principle, which requires helping those in need. The Federal Transportation Mask Mandate (FTMM) forces Mahwikizi to refuse service to riders who can’t or won’t cover their face – or even those who simply forgot to bring a mask since masks are no longer required in Illinois for the fully vaccinated.
The civil complaint in Mahwikizi v. CDC was filed in the U.S. District for the Northern District of Illinois. Mahwikizi is asking the court to declare the FTMM unconstitutional.
This is believed to be the third lawsuit filed against the Mask Mandate.
Lucas Wall, of Washington, DC, was the first to file suit last month saying he can't wear a mask because he has generalized anxiety disorder , according to a complaint filed in US District Court in Orlando, Florida. Southwest, Alaska, Allegiant, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue and Spirit airlines were all named in the suit.
Mahwikizi asserts the federal and state governments have forced him to leave a mother with her children on the streets of Chicago because the young kids won’t wear a mask, among other incidents. The FTMM requires rideshare drivers to refuse service to anyone not donning a face covering.
“Immediate and irreparable harm is being suffered by Mahwikizi every day which passes wherein he is being ordered by Federal and State Defendants to force Mahwikizi's transportation clients to put masks on, request they leave his car if they have no mask, or simply leave Illinois residents on the side of the road if they or someone with them do not have a face covering on for any reason,” he contends in an Emergency Motion for Temporary Restraining Order & Preliminary Injunction filed June 30. “Doing away with the FTMM would align with current Illinois and CDC policies that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask.”