11th Circuit Appeals Court Reverses Course Denying CDC’s Motion to Stay Pending Appeal – CDC’s Rules Now Non-Binding Recommendations in Florida

In the never-ending story of the State of Florida versus the CDC, the 11th Circuit Court which ruled in favor of the CDC last week, reversed its decision reinstating the district court injunction against CDC’s cruise ship restrictions. This means, the CDC’s Conditional Sailing Order are now non-binding recommendations for cruise companies operating out of Florida.

The three-judge panel unanimously vacated the July 176th order and as of today denied the CDC’s time-sensitive motion for stay pending appeal because the CDC failed to demonstrate an entitlement to a stay pending appeal.

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Today’s reversal comes hours after the State of Florida escalated the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court. It remains unclear, if this will change anything regarding today’s restart and protocol announcement from Disney Cruise Line as this is far from over.

55 Replies to “11th Circuit Appeals Court Reverses Course Denying CDC’s Motion to Stay Pending Appeal – CDC’s Rules Now Non-Binding Recommendations in Florida”

  1. Walt

    This is crazy. A governor with no EdD or PhD can over rule the CDC and the safety rules established by the cruise line. He has made himself a god, with a small g. Especially when his state is the second highest with Covid-19 and covid related death. This really sounds like politics to me. How many people will be infected or die before he is re-elected or in a position to run for president? This virus is rapidly spreading fast. Sad. I can’t believe that the majority of Floridian is on board with that?

  2. CATHY

    @walt There are many in Florida who love DeSantis and what he has done for the state. I am one of them. People are not infected because of DeSantis, that is just plain nonsense. I suggest you don’t come to Florida if you don’t like the rules. It’s as simple as that. Oh and DeSantis didn’t make the ruling.. the courts did.

  3. Walt

    I won’t. At least not anytime soon. By the way I am not into politics, nor am I a politician. I am in love with God given common sense. Enjoy Florida. Next time speak for yourself, not the many.

  4. CATHY

    @walt.. I was speaking for the many. The many who voted this man in and love what he is doing..and thank you I am enjoying it.. every minute of every day…

  5. Vinny

    We look forward to cruising again this year with the initial rules DCL’s has in place to keep passengers safe are they reenter sailing over the next three months.

    Cruise lines could always relax their rules sooner as appropriate based on what happens during the resumption of sailing. Delta virus cases are increasing on land. Actual cruise line experience with avoiding the spread of Covid on board should be the driver for changing initial the rules they put in place. Avoidance of Covid on board will be the results from a combination of each ship’s excution their safety protocols as well as passenger behavior in following the rules. Building a history of cruise experiences, safe or not, should be what drives which rules are necessary for ships to have a safe environment.

    So passenger behavior, (especially those of us sailing over the first month after resumption), will be important in influcencing the prevention of Covid on board, which should inform relaxation of rules and/or the creation of new rules.

  6. John

    @Walt, @MaryAnn – take it up with the courts, not DeSantis. He and his administration thought the CDC overstepped its legal authority to shut down an industry and filed suit. The 11th circuit agreed. You claim to not be political but I don’t believe it for a second.

  7. John

    @Vinny – you’re exactly right. Let the cruise lines which know their industry, their ships, their crew, etc way better than any bureaucrat at the CDC decide on their own rules and protocols. My guess is they’ll all end up with something more like what Carnival is doing for the next few months. By October, unless things have gone totally sideways, expect to see resumption of something resembling pre Covid sailing. Everyone should be pleased with this ruling. It makes the CDC provide reasonable, data specific guidance before shutting down anything. That’s a good thing. I don’t work for the cruise industry, but I don’t want to be the next target for the CDC and have my job and livelihood be stopped by some folks in Washington, DC.

  8. Dennis C

    Lost in this discussion is that the cruise industry is either meeting or exceeding the CDC’s recommendations. At no point have they challenged them. It’s unlikely that cruise lines will alter their safety protocols in any way over the next six months, particularly with 1 in 5 cases of Delta coming out of Florida and 9 in 10 of those infected being unvaccinated.

    So, it’s a bit of a Catch 22 in Florida. They sued, they got what they wanted but the cruise lines would prefer proof of vaccination but are being denied the ability to do so by the state of Florida.

    Florida claims the CDC overstepped their authority, Norwegian Cruise Line is suing Florida and saying essentially the same thing about Florida and will no doubt cite the CDC case as precedent.

    The whole issue is a bit exhausting and became just as politicized as virtually everything else these days. Some just wanted to cruise, others just want to cruise safely, others just wanted a win for their side.

  9. John

    @Dennis – I wouldn’t bet on that. The cruise lines want to make money, they’re swimming in debt. You don’t think that within 6 months they won’t be altering their protocols to get more people on board, including families with kids under 12? They have the all clear now in FL to make their own rules. They’ll do whatever makes them more money, simple as that.

    FL claimed the CDC overstepped its legal authority and won. Not a claim anymore, a reality. Norwegian is in a tougher position since the FL statute doesn’t shut down sailing and was passed into law in FL. The CDC could not prove in its case it actually followed any current law that provided them their power. FL can pretty easily show it does have lawful authority. It’ll be up to the courts now to somehow determine FL overstepped which would be odd since even the federal government is not requiring proof of vaccination for anything. Norwegian is going nowhere with this one. Not sure how you can claim ‘the cruise lines would prefer proof of vaccination’ when none have joined Norwegian in their suit. Seems like wishful thinking on your part to prove a point.

  10. Sue

    Cases that are rising are 83% Delta variant and thankfully deaths are not rising to the level of the initial strain of Covid so this new variant is not as deadly. I’m all for choices and freedom. Let the cruise industry bounce back. If you want to cruise, cruise. We will wait until the experience is somewhat back to normal.

  11. PLI

    This is interesting. The same three judges reversed themselves; it didn’t go to the 11th Cir en banc. So, the underlying appeal is still active. Don’t know what will happen there. It may be that they figure the cruise lines are up and running now, so what’s the point? I wonder if Florida will withdraw its cert petition to SCOTUS now. For now, the Petition is moot.

    If the CDC doesn’t have authority to shut down or regulate cruises operating out of Florida, even though they are foreign flagged and engaging in Interstate commerce (a decision I still believe is wrong), what authority does Florida have to tell a private business (Norwegian) that also operates internationally, that it can’t require proof of vaccination without incurring a $5000 fine per passenger? That’s why I think the Norwegian lawsuit still has legs. Though one of the claims Norwegian made is based on the first amendment, which I’m admittedly having difficulty wrapping my head around.

    John, wishing you well next week for your vaccination appointment. Hope all goes smoothly.

  12. John

    Thanks PLI. I was hoping you would jump in. But isn’t the FL law about not requiring vaccinations for any type of business across the state? It’s not just about cruises, right? I would think FL would be allowed to do that regardless of the whole international question. Isn’t the question more around whether or not the laws granted by Congress to the CDC were not explicit enough to grant them almost unlimited authority and thus the stay was granted since the court decided that FL had a very good chance of proving that in its lawsuit? Seems like the FL law is very specific and Norwegian is simply stating that FL has no right to impose. Isn’t that a bit different?

    Also hoping Tuesday goes well.

  13. PLI

    John, you raise a valid point. I believe that the Florida law applies to all businesses, not just cruise lines. But it’s still regulating interstate commerce and international affairs…don’t know if that statute is valid to do that. The cruise lines in any event are trying to work around it, in terms of testing, masks, insurance etc. Courts don’t want to weigh in on issues that are moot.

    Bouncing back to the CDC case, I don’t think they’ll give up on it, not just yet. I still think there’s a standing issue.

    On a related topic, here’s some irony…I was discussing the protocols that DCL is now implementing for its cruises with my wife. The one thing that really stuck in her craw was no photo opportunities with Disney characters, at least for now. For me, having had dozens of pics taken with Disney characters on our previous cruises, this is not necessarily a dealbreaker. My daughter is taking my wife’s side on this issue! So, since our Southern Caribbean cruise doesn’t leave for another year, I’m hoping thing improve enough so my daughter can get pics with Mickey, Donald and the rest of the crew.

  14. PLI

    Jo, good point, but for me personally I don’t care. A deal breaker for me would be if the kids clubs were closed.

  15. Mike

    I’m ok with this as it returns cruising to the 1st and 2nd class categories of days of old. The unvaccinated, aka 2nd class will be segregated from the vaccinated, they’ll pay extra for the privilege and probably won’t be allowed ashore in foreign countries. DeSantis seems to forget that no cruise ship flies under an American flag and under the rules of the nation they are flagged in; and must abide by the rules of foreign nations they visit, and in order to sail from America , they must dock in a foreign port. So I suppose the unvaccinated can sail from Florida but I’m thinking it won’t be fun nor cheap but so be it.

  16. fiev cents

    There is NO Constitutional requirement that elected persons must possess a “degree” issued by the far, far left academics. And that is a very good thing, because commen sense should always prevail over social experiments.

  17. Catherine

    Sort of a reality. If this goes to SCOTUS and they overturn it, then it’s a win in the other direction. Last week it was a win for the CDC, and the reality is that it’s not a reality until either SCOTUS says no to hearing it, or hears it and there’s a verdict. Till then, it’s in the appeals process and things could change.

    I work for DCL shoreside, and I can tell you… I highly highly doubt they will be changing their rules to make more money. If there’s an outbreak on the ship, they could have so much more headaches and then they really could be out a lot more money.

    But I do believe in this ruling, and I think both sides will end up meeting in the middle. I think the CDC overstepped their bounds… they are not elected officials, there’s no way for the public as a whole to get who’s there; and that kind of reach won’t fly even if it goes to SCOTUS. But I think the cruise lines will win, should it be pushed, about their ability to ask for vaccination on their own. Especially with Gorsuch, as he is VERY libertarian when it comes to business/economics, and I do believe he will side with the free market solution; that they can run their business as they see fit. I think some cruise lines will ask for it, and some won’t.

  18. Baron

    It’s interesting that the people who say “Some stuffed suit in Washington D.C. should not be regulating what cruise lines can and cannot do!” are the same ones saying “But the governor in Tallahassee should absolutely tell the cruise lines what they can and cannot do!” if it aligns with their politics. Personally, I booked a year ago for a cruise in October. I thought “We should have a vaccine by then, and SURELY there won’t be a huge segment of the population who just …. refuse to get vacinated.” I know, I know I can be naive.

    The cruise lines WANT to use vaccine passports, they are the ones who worked with the CDC to get that as a regulation. And while no cruise corporation actively wants to injure people in the pursuit of profits, they do want to make a profit. However, they have a very fine line to walk to avoid the dreaded “17 people die of COVID that they got on the Disney Dream!” headline on the news.

  19. CATHY

    @Mike I read through all Disney rules they just put out and I don’t see anything that makes an unvaccinated person anymore segregated than a vaccinated person. Nor do I see it costs more money. Can you please back that up for me where you got your information.

    1. Baron

      I mean, unvaccinated people are required to have an out-of-pocket COVID test prior to coming, another out-of-pocket rapid test performed upon arrival, and $10,000 travel insurance. That is more expensive.

  20. John

    @Baron – You don’t have it quite right. The FL statute is for all businesses within the state, not just cruise lines. The CSO is just for cruise lines, not airplanes, trains, subways, sports venues, etc. You are comparing apples and oranges here.

    You also keep claiming the cruise lines want to use vaccine passports? Who has said that, where are you seeing that? Do you really think the cruise lines want to restrict cruising only to families with children over 12? That’s what a vaccine passport requirement would do.

    1. Baron

      Right, I am saying that people don’t want Big Government interfering with their cruises… except when Big Government is interfering with cruises in ways that they approve of. And cruises ARE different, you are cramming people in enclosed spaces for DAYS at a time, as opposed to hours. Feeding them all at the same time, from the same places, traveling internationally and coming right back. There’s a reason you’ve never heard of a norovirus outbreak at a stadium or on a train, but have heard of many of them on cruise ships.

      I am saying that the CDC implemented their guidance WITH the cruise line’s input, up to and very much including the vaccine passport. Zero of the cruise lines are involved with the lawsuits currently ongoing, with the exception of Norwegian, which is suiing Florida over the right to use vacine passports. I think that cruises want to make money, and if they can make a bit of money now to keep their companies … AHEM “afloat”, without becoming branded as the Ships of Death, they will. But 1-2 half-full cruises will absolutely NOT make up for being known as “That ship where a bunch of people died from COVID” forever and ever. But, Florida law prohibits the lines from implementing the largest single method of ensuring the fewest COVID cases possible, because telling businesses that they aren’t ALLOWED to make things safe is always a great choice.

  21. CATHY

    @Mike thanks for the info. I guess I didn’t read it all the way down because even though we are fully vaccinated I would never go on a cruise without the medical insurance. We are platinum cruisers and we always buy travel insurance to protect us because you just never know. It is a good investment if you need it. I don’t think that would be a deterrent for anyone and that is the only monetary difference I see. Am I missing something?

  22. Jo

    Norovirus is not partial to cruise ships. It is just so much easier to be traced on a cruise. People get ill other places, leave the source of the virus and then are unable to determine the source. If we knew how many people get sick just from eating at restaurants, would we shut down that industry, too. If the news stations had kept up a death count of those who died in car accidents in 2020, a lot of people would never get in a car. When did so many people decide to not just be responsible for their own health but decide they could tell others how to live. It seems to me that we each should make our own decision and respect other people’s right to choose what is best for them. Why stop at covid 19? Let’s see if people got their vaccine for measles, TB, meningitis,…………………. If anyone has gotten the vaccine, they should not be so stressed about those who may not have. I know some say but the vaccine is not 100% fail proof. What in the world is?

  23. John

    @Baron – I give up. The FL statute is not just for cruises (SB 2006), the CSO is just for cruises. Very different. As I said, apples and oranges. The cruise lines were forced to work with the CDC. What else were they going to do? You can’t possibly tell me that the cruise lines would rather not have the CSO and be free and clear to do whatever they choose in running their business. A vaccine passport does nothing for the cruise lines except exclude customers. Right now, they simply don’t ask and if you don’t provide info they assume you’re unvaccinated and move on with their other protocols. That’s all they have to do. The CSO is what is restricting them from making their own rules. It’s actually the onerous thing here, not the FL statute. But you have your own agenda about telling everyone else what to do, so you’ll never get it unfortunately. It’s like discussing with a brick wall.

    1. Baron

      You don’t need to keep reminding me that the Florida laws applies to all businesses, I am aware. The CDC guidelines for cruises are… only for cruises, I get it.

      Why haven’t any of the cruise lines joined the Florida lawsuit against the CDC? Why is Norwegian actually suing Florida? You say “you can’t possible tell me that the cruise lines would not rather be free and clear to do whatever they choose in running their business”….. but they WANT to use vaccine passports! The brick wall here is the refusal to acknowledge that Florida and the CDC BOTH are trying to control what the cruise lines can and cannot do. You can’t sit here and claim “Well, the mandates that I like are the good kind of government interference, the ones I don’t like are the bad kind of government interference”. You think the cruise lines should be allowed to decide for themselves how best to mitigate safety on their ships? Cool, then give them the option to do so! My agenda is “They should be free to choose what they want to do”, yours appears to be “They should be free to choose what they want to do… except require vaccines. They don’t get to choose that option.”

  24. John

    @Baron – I’m claiming none of that. Read what I write and think. No emotion, just facts.

    1. Why haven’t any cruise lines joined the Norwegian suit? You keep stating none of them joined FL, then why have none joined Norwegian? You can’t use no one joined the FL suit as a point of argument and conveniently leave out no cruise lines joined Norwegian. You can’t have it both ways.

    2. The FL lawsuit against the CDC is different than SB 2006. The FL lawsuit (as described in this article) is about the CDC not having legal authority to shut down the cruise industry via the CSO. It has nothing to do with vaccine passports. You keep wanting to link cruise lines and joining the FL suit and vaccine passports. Apples and Oranges.

    3. FL has created 1000s of statutes that regulate all business across the state. The vaccine passport is not specific to the cruise lines and is just another state business statute. That’s a very important distinction you constantly dismiss. The vaccine passport statute is no different than FL regulating the freezer temperature for a restaurant. It impacts every business. The CSO was written for one single industry. Your argument about picking and choosing only makes sense if the CSO and the FL statute were equal in what industries they impact. Apples and Oranges.

    I’m done after this since you’ll never get it.

    1. Baron

      1. I would have to assume that the other cruise lines were already well on their way to resuming cruising under the CDC guidelines. To them, it would make not much difference, and could even injure the lawsuit itself if the court simply decides “2/3 of the corporations in this suit have no standing. Dimissed, try again.” I could be 100% wrong, they may feel the exact opposite and that is also why they haven’t joined the FL lawsuit as well. I’m not in their board meetings, I do not know. The fact remains however that, of the cruise lines currently attached to lawsuits, 100% of them are trying to sue Florida. Granted, it’s just one company, but I find it hard to believe that the others are 180 degrees away from an industry peer’s thinking.

      2. Yes. Florida law is different than the CDC’s CSO. I get it. Those are actually written on two completely separate pieces of paper even! You might even say that they are two completely different things! One could even argue that the two are not the same thing. One might compare them to different fruits even. Perhaps one is more like an apple, while the other resembles a more citrusy fruit? If only the two had something in common other than the glaringly obvious. I don’t know if I can find any common thread between a law that mandates what a LOT of businesses can and cannot do in regards to COVID precautions, and an order than mandates what a business can and cannot do in regards to COVID precautions. Must be a complete lack of imagination on my part, and NOT any form of hypocrisy on the part of any politicians.

      3. Despite what you consistently try to frame my argument as, I am decidedly NOT coming out in favor of the CDC’s CSO. It could very well be that they don’t have the authority to mandate what they are trying to mandate. I tend to think that they do have that authority, given the nature of the cruise industry with international travel and crowded disease vectors, but I admit that I am not learned enough to know for sure. However, Florida could very easily include an exemption in their vaccine passport law if they chose to. They just passed a censorship law that affects every business in the state… except for Disney. They could easily do the same for the cruise industry, but for a wide variety of cynical reasons, they do not want to. And your example of a freezer regulation is backwards, the vaccine passport law is less “Freezers should be a minimum of 30 degrees” and more “No one is allowed to have a freezer colder than 30 degrees, regardless of what you are storing”.

      My point has consistently been that it is hubris bordering on hypocrisy for the state of Florida to declare that government should not impose COVID restrictions on a business given the restrictions that Florida has placed upon those same businesses (and tens of thousands of other businesses as well, though exempting some businesses from laws when it suits the state). Though, in retrospect, the official Florida position has consistently been pro-COVID for well over a year now, so it is not exactly surprising.

      I know you said you are done since I “don’t get it”… but at this point I have to assume you physically cannot NOT have the last word to remind me that Florida law is not the same law as the CSO, or that the Florida law affects lots of businesses, while the CSO only affects one industry (which is…. I guess an argument here?).

  25. CATHY

    No matter what the rules are being vaccinated is not total protection from the virus and we just found this out. My husband has just tested positive for Covid and both of us are double vaccinated so I don’t know what that means other than no one is really protected. Oh and we were in Orlando this weekend and we wore masks.. so go figure. Everyone will have to decide what their own risk level is. You are not totally protected no matter what so anyone of those vaccinated and negative test results could be meaningless.

  26. S

    Cathy – you are correct. The vaccine will not prevent you from getting the virus. What it is meant to do is for some people they will be completel symptom free and others may only get mild symptoms and not need to be hospitalized or in an ICU. In that sense, over 99% of all vaccinated people are getting the max protection they can get. If your husband was only mildly ill, no hospitalization and no ICU then I would say the vaccine was a success in him. Agree caution is still required and everyone will have to decide what level of risk vs mask wearing vs other rules are acceptable for them on a DCL trip.

  27. El

    @Walt your fearmongering is really a thing to behold. Gov. DeSantis is not a frickin’ dictator – do you seriously think he’s like Kim Jong-Un? You do realize that we have a judicial branch, right? The Federal district court judge authored a factually and legally detailed *124-page* opinion explaining his rationale for enjoining the CDC’s rules. The three-member 11th Circuit Court of Appeals panel that first stayed the district court’s order but subsequently allowed it to go into effect included two Democrat-appointed judges: Judge C. Wilson, an African-American appointed by Bush Sr., and Judge Jill Pryor, appointed by Obama. Do you think they are fools who didn’t carefully review the district court’s opinion in reaching their own?

  28. PLI

    Good discussion, John and Baron, though it probably won’t surprise anyone who’s read my posts that I agree with Baron on this one.

    I think the Norwegian suit has merit. Although the Florida statute applies to all businesses, as applied to the cruise lines it has an impact on interstate commerce and international commerce as well. Not the same thing as applying it to a bar in Tallahassee. Whether they’ll pursue it to the bitter end is an open question. But I think it’s a bit hypocritical to argue that the CDC lacks authority to regulate a business engaging in interstate commerce operating under foreign flags visiting international ports-of-call but Florida does.

    I think the main reason the cruise lines didn’t join the CDC suit was that it didn’t really advance the ball in terms of getting the ships sailing again. The chief impediment to sailing, as Norwegian said in its lawsuit, is the Florida statute, not the CDC. They’re sailing, some with restrictions that some passengers don’t like, all because of Florida’s statue. The cruise lines want vaccine passports; that makes life much easier for them. And, I don’t care that the judge wrote a 124-page opinion…Florida still didn’t have standing. I think the Supreme Court might agree; they just upheld the ACA by a 7-2 vote on lack of standing, even after two federal courts struck it down. Two Trump Justices, Coney Barrett and Kavanaugh, voted with the majority. When it comes to the jurisdiction of the federal courts, conservative vs. liberal is not as pronounced.

  29. John

    Thanks PLI. We’ve discussed this a ton at this point. But the 11th circuit by backing the injunction more or less approved of FL standing, right? Is that still even a question?

    I haven’t spent any time at all looking at the Norwegian suit. Are they looking to strike down the entire statute or looking for some type of relief from the court based on interstate and international commerce specific to just their industry? Baron did raise some interesting points. What usually leads me to put someone like that on ignore are his comments that FL and DeSantis are ‘pro-COVID’ and other nonsense. Folks that start saying things like that are usually way too emotional and outraged for their own good.

  30. CATHY

    @John I totally agree with you. To say anyone is Pro-Covid is ridiculous nonsense. I live in Tampa and we have been free to protect ourselves as we see fit from wearing a mask to staying home. People hate DeSantis because they are political. As far as I am concerned DeSantis let the people decide which risks they were willing to take and honestly I don’t think I could have survived the last 1.5 years in a different state with Governors who overstep their authority.

  31. Jo

    You are not alone Cathy. Our State’s population increased by 14% last year! Personally, I have family and friends who have made a variety of decisions about what to do regarding Covid. Some stayed home, some went to work, some took the shot, some did not, some wore masks, some did even before it was officially advised. My point being we all respected whatever each person chose to do. We had some members of our family come down with this horrible virus and recovered completely and we also lost a couple of friends who had co-morbidities. We did the “two week” quarantine for more than two months and then went back to living our regular lives and we thank God every day that we live in Florida. Guess I should not say that too loud; we don’t want to get too crowded here 🙂

  32. Baron

    Ah, the “pro-COVID” phrase was a bit of flavoring. It is disingenious of me to suggest that anyone is actively for a virus. However, it does seem to me that the Florida state government, of which Governor DeSantis is the most high profile member, has consistently turned a pandemic into a political culture war (whether you think they started it or not, or whether that is justified or not is not my point). It strikes me that many laws and pronouncements coming from the governor’s office have put public safety second, behind “DeSantis 2024” considerations. I do try not to get overly emotional about this issue, though I admit that my father dying from COVID in Orlando earlier this year (a week before his scheduled vaccine, and entirely because he refused to stop going to in-person church… but I digress) does taint my responses, and my outlook on the issue.

    I think PLI brings a good point of nuance that I had missed. Being able to use vaccine passports would make life so much easier on a cruise ship, the sheer number of crewmembers that must be dedicated to screenings, cleanings, enforcing distancing and masks, etc could potentially be reduced to almost nothing if they could be reasonably certain that everyone was vaccinated. The logistics of enforcing COVID guidelines is staggering for a ship with a limited number of crewmembers.

    As for the variouis courts, The 124 page opinion is impressive in size, but anyone who has spent any time with a Federal judge knows that 120 of those pages were written by clerks who had to work 20 hours over the weekend lol. People have mentioned the Supreme Court as being super-conservative, and therefore more likely to rule in favor of culturally conservative issues, however many of the members of the “conservative” justices are very much libertarian, and have a history of voting for businesses over government (looking at Samuel Alito here). If the Norwegian case goes that high, it might not be as 6-3 as people assume.

    1. Baron

      I should clarify: That was an apology for the rhetoric I used. Additionally, I said “it strikes me that…” in this post, that is my cynical political opinion that absolutely no one asked for and probably has little bearing on the issue being discussed.

  33. CATHY

    @Jo lol agreed. Funny how people have all these complaints and curse Florida but can’t stay off those planes to come down here. Disney is mobbed, the beaches are mobbed and the restaurants and attractions are mobbed. I hardly think they are all Floridians. We have to work lol They are vacationing and complaining and judging. I don’t ever worry about what any other state is doing. Why? Because I am not vacationing there so all the people who complain about what is going on here should just stay in their states.. hence their problems are solved. Who is to say that they aren’t the ones bringing more sickness here and not visa versa?

  34. Walt

    @Baron. Same here. Condolences on the loss of your father. I really like what you are saying. I continue to read this blog because your information is factual and sound. Keep up the good work.

  35. PLI

    John, good question. As I read the Norwegian complaint, what they are making is an “as applied” argument to the Florida statute, which means they’re not trying to strike the entire statute. They’re saying that as applied to the cruise industry, the statute “as applied” is unconstitutional. If they were to win, the statute could still be applied to “local” businesses. And, I guess you could say that the 11th Cir. at least implicitly endorsed Judge Merryman’s decision on standing, but I would like to see an opinion on that from the Court. Regardless, I still think he was wrong.

    Baron, condolences on your father’s passing. and you are SO right about law clerks (speaking as a former federal law clerk myself). I think there was some dubious (i.e. silly) reasoning in Judge Merryman’s decision, like his saying the CSO is similar to a regulation outlawing sex in order to stop the spread of STDs. Also, I agree, to an extent, about the current makeup of SCOTUS. I agree to the extent that they may be libertarian, pro business, and that now that they are appointed for life they can be more independent. I would say that they are more predictable today, since the Trump appointees were all “chosen” by the Federalist Society. I have a feeling that none of the current CSO/Vaccine Passport drama will get to the Supreme Court this go-around. I wonder (and worry) what will happen over the next month or so if the current surge in cases/hospitizations gets much worse.

  36. PLI

    Cathy, I’m not a Florida resident, but am pretty familiar with many things Florida. Here’s my take. My in laws lived for more than 20 years in Siesta Key. Maybe the nicest beach I’ve ever been to. My wife and I were married on the beach there. We really liked it there. We have gone to WDW with our daughter (and survived). We were last in Siesta Key in July 2019. It has changed for the worse. Now, it’s like an all-year spring-break party. Downtown Sarasota is jammed with traffic; the outlying areas are overdeveloped; miles and miles of ugly strip malls (with an occasional palm tree). My in-laws moved out of Siesta Key (and Florida) 5 years ago because they thought it had changed for the worse. Nevertheless, I could live there for the winter months, but that’s it, because I’m starting to hate the cold as I get older. My wife, on the other hand, would like to be there year round…we’re negotiating…

    As for DiSantis being “pro-Covid,” I won’t wade into that debate, but I’ll try to find and post the clip/transcript from an NPR interview a few days ago with the director of infectious diseases at one of the large hospitals in Jacksonville. It was truly heartbreaking. He said the situation in terms of hospitalization is worse now than it was in January at the height of the last surge. This fellow was certainly no fan of DiSantis. I don’t think you can consider his performance during the pandemic as a success. He is a very smart, ruthless politician. I wouldn’t say that he’s necessarily pro-Covid, but he wastes a lot of time on stupid cultural war issues, like the ridiculous law outlawing big tech “deplatforming” of certain politicians. He was in Texas for a border photo-op while his state is being ravaged by this latest COVID wave. I would say he is more into “owning the libs” than he is in actually governing. Which is a shame, because I think he has the chops to be an effective governor.

  37. CATHY

    @PLI.. to each his own. We go to Siesta Key every weekend and personally I love the hustle and bustle of it, the people, the beaches, the shopping and the restaurants. In the past 10 years the places that we go we have not noticed much difference and we have many friends who reside there. As far as DeSantis I am very very pleased with almost every decision he makes and I think he is very effective.I guess we will find out in the next election how many like him and how many don’t.
    We in Florida do not forget we could have had Gillum the democratic candidate who if you remember was found naked and overdosed on Meth in a Miami hotel room.
    Bottom line it is all a personal decision. As far as covid the only thing Desantis could do is say wear a mask. It is not his fault that covid is surging. I mean what do you suggest he should do? Maybe not allow anyone from any other state to come here? Close Disney and other attractions? He tells people to get vaccinated which he himself did early on .
    I really don’t know what else he could have done.No one is mandating the vaccine at least no state I am aware of. Covid is surging and there is nothing one person can do to change that so it really makes me livid when I hear how bad Florida is. Maybe the people who don’t live here should stay away if they are threatened by the virus and the way the state is run. I also tried to look up the interview you were referring to and was unable to locate it. Bottom line we all have our own opinions and I respect yours just as I know you respect mine.

  38. PLI

    Cathy, certainly respect your opinion. Never meant to imply that you, or Floridians in general, are “pro-Covid.” At the same time, people like myself are not “pro-lockdown” either. Let’s just say that none of us are pro-Covid or pro-lockdown. We all want to sail again, soon and safely, with DCL.

    Here is the link to the interview I referenced earlier. July 23 on NPR All Things Considered.



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