U.S. District Judge Questions State Law in Norwegian Cruise Line Lawsuit


A Norwegian Cruise Line lawsuit that proposes an injunction against the law (SB 2006) that bans businesses from requiring vaccine passports in Florida was heard in court Friday by U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams.

After the cruise line argued to Judge Williams that lawmakers approved the law for “political points,” she did not make a ruling, however she did question the state’s attorneys on the merits of the law.

According to Reuters.com, Williams pressed state lawyer Pete Patterson to explain the reasoning behind the law, as well as why a ban against mandating state workers to get vaccinated was not included within the law.

“Don’t you think it’s odd the statute doesn’t worry about discrimination of the state’s employees who are here in Florida but is focused on patrons of a business, who in this case, are sailing away to other ports of call?” she asked.

In addition, WINK News reports Williams dismissing the term “vaccine passports,” as she stated, “it’s a phrase that doesn’t have any meaning in this legal analysis.”

Patterson responded in defense of the law and Florida consumers, stating, “We don’t want them to carry vaccine documentation to access the economic marketplace.”

DeSantis approved the ban on vaccine passports in early May, after initially signing an executive order in April that set the precedent for the law. As reported by The Florida Capital Star, Norwegian filed the lawsuit in July after months of threatening to pull its ships from Florida ports if they could not require vaccine documentation for passengers.

Norwegian’s goal for requiring passengers to show vaccine documentation is to abide by the “conditional sailing order” issued by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The sailing order approves ships to set sail after the completion of four rigorous stages of certification. One of those phases includes a 95% vaccination rate for passengers, and 98% for employees.

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Casey Owens is a contributing writer for The Florida Capital Star. Follow him on Twitter at @cowensreports. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Norwegian Cruise Line” by Norwegian Cruise Line.





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