Sunday, November 15, 2020
The National Urging Plan: Biden Appears To Downgrade His Mask Pledge From A “Mandate” To An “Urging” – JONATHAN TURLEY
We have previously discussed the claim of President-elect Joe Biden that he will impose a nationwide mask mandate. While most of what Biden promised as part of his pandemic plan (like free vaccinations) are already part of the federal plan, Biden insistence that he would impose a nationwide mask mandate was a distinction between the candidates during the campaign. The pledge was questioned by some of us in terms of the federal authority to enforce such a mandate. Now, Biden is emphasizing the mandate in his transition and his new Chief of Staff Ron Klain seemed to make a considerable qualification last night in an interview with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell. Klain is now clarifying that the Biden Administration would fulfill its promise of a national mandate only “where the federal authority extends.” He then added that they would simply “urge” states to follow suit. That again sounds like what is currently being done by the CDC and what is already required in federal buildings, enclaves, installations, and bases. A presidential urging is a considerable downgrade from a federal mandate. Legally, it is like going from a promise of a moon shot to a promise to visit the local planetarium.