mask airplane
The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a request to block a federal mask mandate for air travel.

The emergency application was filed by a father on behalf of himself and his 4-year-old autistic son, both of whom claim to be medically incapable of wearing masks for extended periods.

Their request was filed to Justice Neil Gorsuch, who handles emergency applications arising in several Western states, and he referred the matter to the full court. The justices denied the request without comment or noted dissent.

Under an executive order signed by President Biden, the Transportation Security Administration requires passengers on airplanes and other public transportation to wear masks to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, which has killed more than 850,000 in the U.S.

Joining the father-son challengers was another man, Lucas Wall, who has sought to raise money and publicity from his legal efforts targeting the federal transportation mask mandate. Chief Justice John Roberts last month unilaterally rejected a separate challenge filed by the group.

The court's move comes less than a week after the justices issued a split decision on another set of Biden administration pandemic mitigation measures. Last Thursday, the court voted 6-3 to block a vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers but voted 5-4 to maintain a vaccine mandate for health providers at federally funded facilities.