Very early this morning, “Politico’s senior legal-affairs reporter Josh Gerstein tweeted that the 11th Circuit panel had voted 2-1 to stay a judge’s decision blocking U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rules as they applied to cruise-ship COVID regulations.” (via Sun Sentinel’s article titled: Eleventh Circuit panel stays lower court’s decision to block CDC cruise-ship regulations, handing setback to DeSantis).
“Following a lower-court decision on June 18 which had ruled for Florida in a lawsuit challenging the CDC’s regulation of cruise ships due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sunday was set to be the day when whatever CDC rules remained would become only a non-binding ‘consideration,’ ‘recommendation’ or ‘guideline’ — the same tools the court said the CDC has used for industries such as airlines, railroads, hotels, casinos, sports venues, buses, subways and others.”
This was always a farcical case of political theater. DeSantis sued the CDC, supposedly as the cruise lines' white knight, but none of them joined his suit. Yet the court somehow granted him standing. Then Norwegian sued him, advocating the CDC position he claimed they opposed.
— Eric Lisann (@EricLisann) July 18, 2021
The stay by the Eleventh Circuit comes at a time when approximately 20% of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S. are in the state of Florida, yet the state has no health and safety protocols which apply to cruise ships. The Hill reported that “Florida is seeing some of the highest coronavirus hospitalizations, new infections and deaths per capita in the country.”
The state law prohibiting businesses from requiring COVID vaccination technically remains on the books and continues to apply to cruise lines.
Florida's law barring cruise companies from requiring passengers show proof of vaccination remains in effect.
In a separate case, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is asking a federal judge in Miami to get rid of the state law by Aug. 6. https://t.co/fqpTjHOzOj
— Taylor Dolven (@taydolven) July 18, 2021
Politico reported the following relevant information:
“While DeSantis has portrayed the lawsuit as an effort to rescue the cruise industry from the impact of the rules the CDC has imposed, cruise operators have not rushed to back the challenge to the federal rules.
Indeed, just last week, Norwegian Cruise Lines filed a suit aimed at blocking DeSantis’ policy forbidding Florida businesses — including cruise ships sailing from the state — from insisting that patrons be vaccinated. The cruise line said it wants to impose such rules in order to address travelers’ safety concerns. (Our article is here).
The cruise company filed that suit in federal court in South Florida, but lawyers for the state asked Friday that the suit be moved to Merryday’s court, where the state had already received a sympathetic ruling.
The 11th Circuit ruling was issued by Judge Charles Wilson, an appointee of President Bill Clinton, Judge Jill Pryor, an appointee of President Barack Obama, and Judge Elizabeth Branch, an appointee of President Donald Trump. The court did not specify the dissenting judge.”
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Image Credit: Norwegian Joy – Spaceaero2 – CC BY-SA 4.0, commons / wikimedia.