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Appellate Court Puts Back in Force CDC’s Vaccine Passports Requirement and Other Mandates on Cruises


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There was some great news last month when the state of Florida won, in a United States district court, a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mandates, including for vaccine passports, under the CDC’s draconian and unprecedented “conditional sailing order” imposed on cruises in the name of countering coronavirus. I provided details about the court decision in an article here.

Unfortunately, late Saturday night — before the district court’s preliminary injunction was set to take effect on Sunday, a panel of three judges of the 11th Circuit decided by a two to one vote to stay the preliminary injunction pending appeal. The appellate court’s decision thus dictates that the CDC’s mandates on cruises, and cruise ship crews and passengers, remain enforceable for the time being.

Responding to news of the appellate court’s decision, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is pledging to continue the fight in the courts to remove the CDC mandates on cruises. In a Monday Orlando Weekly article by Tom Urban and Jim Saunders, DeSantis is quoted as follows
'We are absolutely going to pursue getting the stay removed, either at the full 11th Circuit or at the U.S. Supreme Court. I think probably to the full 11th Circuit en banc,' DeSantis said during an appearance in Central Florida.
En banc consideration would involve all judges of the circuit court weighing in on the matter, a process that could yield a different result than was obtained in the split three judge panel decision.

Further quoted in the Orlando Weekly article, DeSantis expresses optimism that the state of Florida will ultimately be successful in its court battle against the CDC’s mandates for cruises:
'I think most courts at this point have had their limit of the CDC issuing these dictates without a firm statutory basis,' DeSantis said. 'I am confident we’d win on the merits at the full 11th Circuit, and obviously I am confident we would win at the U.S. Supreme Court.'
Hopefully, DeSantis’ prediction of victory proves correct.
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