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State of Florida Sues CDC Over Cruise Shut Down


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ORDER appointing Joseph H. Varner III as mediator; designating James H. Percival as lead counsel; setting JUNE 1, 2021 as the mediation deadline; directing counsel to file a notice within two days giving the date and time of mediation. The notice of mediation is due May 20, 2021. Signed by Judge Steven D. Merryday on 5/18/2021.

https://www.2150.com/files/cc/8_21-cv-00839-SDM-AAS/51_047123010546_OrderAppointingMediator.pdf
https://www.2150.com/files/cc/8_21-cv-00839-SDM-AAS/52_047123010614_OrderMediationAppearance.pdf


Florida v. HHS, CDC (2150.com)

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10 minutes ago, smokeybandit said:

Mediation suggests a middle ground is attainable.

 

What part of "you're overreaching your government powers and costing us billions"  screams "middle ground?"

Mediation will go nowhere. CDC will never admit that they made a mistake, and will just slowly release updates while talking about following the science. Florida will not give way on the fact that cruise lines cannot sail under the current CSO.

 

I think meditation by both parties may be more effective than mediation. ? 

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56 minutes ago, LizzyBee23 said:

I also think the CDC needs to be put in check. It should be on politicians to implement such sweeping measures for this long... We don't get to vote for the CDC, and it's hard to argue we're in a true public health emergency anymore.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ THIS ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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I don’t see any expediency.  It took nearly a week from the hearing to issue a “fill in the blanks” mediation order.  Looks like there will be more foot dragging until the clock runs out.  I hope I’m wrong.

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I made a huge mistake yesterday by not realizing a new thread had been added and then posted my take on Merryday's order to take FL's case to mediation in the wrong thread. I moved the three posts I made yesterday afternoon here. A lot of what's here in my re-post has already been said. There are links to the orders and some nuanced thoughts on how Mediation will go. 

 

 

 

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@twangster Yesterday in the posts I made in the wrong thread (reposted above) in response you said this:

Quote

 

Florida's position is the CSO is unlawful and shouldn't exist.  It's pretty hard to go anywhere from that position without admitting the CSO is lawful.  

Personally I hope FL maintains that position.  CSO is unlawful, period.

 

I'm particularly interested in your view that the CSO is unlawful. Why do you think that?

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8 minutes ago, JeffB said:

@twangster Yesterday in the posts I made in the wrong thread (reposted above) in response you said this:

I'm particularly interested in your view that the CSO is unlawful. Why do you think that?

For all the reasons why the State of Florida filed their lawsuit.  I really don't think there is reason to burn out a keyboard retyping them here.  

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2021/04/08/florida-sues-cdc-get-cruise-ships-sailing-again

Ms. Moody elaborate who this lawsuit is directed against, "We have filed suit this morning just before meeting with you here today, against the administration, HHS and the CDC, demanding that the court find that this effective No Sail Order is unlawful and allow our cruises to resume safely."

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In reviewing the mediation order, one could conclude that the order requires that the mediation must be scheduled to begin on or before 1 June.  I know that’s an interpretation that none of us on this forum would like to be true but i believe it’s a viable interpretation as it is listed under mediation scheduling.  Unfortunately, the mediation could also take weeks or longer.  I hate to throw cold water on the parade and I hope I am wrong.  P.S. I’m not a lawyer.

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14 minutes ago, Loops said:

In reviewing the mediation order, one could conclude that the order requires that the mediation must be scheduled to begin on or before 1 June.  I know that’s an interpretation that none of us on this forum would like to be true but i believe it’s a viable interpretation as it is listed under mediation scheduling.  Unfortunately, the mediation could also take weeks or longer.  I hate to throw cold water on the parade and I hope I am wrong.  P.S. I’m not a lawyer.

I think many of us are aware and most of us expect the CDC to use this as another delay tactic to kick the can as far as they can.

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1 hour ago, Loops said:

In reviewing the mediation order, one could conclude that the order requires that the mediation must be scheduled to begin on or before 1 June.  I know that’s an interpretation that none of us on this forum would like to be true but i believe it’s a viable interpretation as it is listed under mediation scheduling.  Unfortunately, the mediation could also take weeks or longer.  I hate to throw cold water on the parade and I hope I am wrong.  P.S. I’m not a lawyer.

I think that is correct. I've read the order several times. It's not entirely clear when the parties are to assemble and begin the process. The June1st date, appears to be a meet and assemble NLT than June 1st. Of course I wanted to interpret that as the mediation must be complete by June 1sr. I think as you say, it's the former.

1 hour ago, twangster said:

For all the reasons why the State of Florida filed their lawsuit.  I really don't think there is reason to burn out a keyboard retyping them here.  

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2021/04/08/florida-sues-cdc-get-cruise-ships-sailing-again

Ms. Moody elaborate who this lawsuit is directed against, "We have filed suit this morning just before meeting with you here today, against the administration, HHS and the CDC, demanding that the court find that this effective No Sail Order is unlawful and allow our cruises to resume safely."

 I think the CSO is lawful. That's because there's clarity with regard to U.S.C. 42 and sections of it that specify CDC's role in regulating sanitation and safety aboard vessels sailing in US waters/entering US ports. Where it gets murky is past the water's edge. Here there is overlapping authority between the feds and the state of FL.

Why is this important? Because the FL case rests on the claim that the CSO is unlawful. (I think the parts of the CSO that could be unlawful involve imposing regulations on what goes on in the ports cruise terminals. Merryday punted on that).

Sending the case to mediation suggests that Merryday thought the CSO was mostly lawful but also thinks the CDC could have taken steps that could have avoided what amounts to the shut-down of the cruise lines and by extension harm in the form of economic damage to FL (Alsaka and Texas). IOW, "Excessive Regulation." It is the Amicus brief from ASTA that raises the question: could have the CDC taken less burdensome steps to achieve their objectives. That's' not an objective question settled in the law. The question is properly framed like this:

Regulation is excessive when it does not accomplish its objective, or when the cost of accomplishing the objective through regulation is excessive, or when there is an alternative to regulation that is less costly.

While that's not in the law, it is implied in it. Judge Merryday's job is to apply the law. If he writes an opinion on this case (and I'm not sure that will happen) this is going to come up. IOW, it's mostly lawful but the CSO imposes excessive regulations and there were alternatives that would have been less costly (The Amicus's point). That will be the central focus in mediation, IMO. To me it will be very interesting to see how the CDC argues it's case for the CSO to stand as it is and what it believes is the fundamental basis for the CSO. IOW, they won't negotiate because they think they are (mostly) on solid legal ground. 

A delay tactic? I don't think it is. First, sending the case to mediation is the courts decision not the CDC's. Second, I think for the CDC, mediation now becomes a forum for them to establish the CDC's authority to do exactly what they did with the CSO. I'm not optimistic that the parties will settle.

What does this mean? First, I'm of the opinion that there are activities going on behind the scenes, out of public view, to get cruising started from US ports by July 1st. These will result in a face saving, off the record easing of the technical details in the CSO that make that doable for the cruise lines ..... who BTW have been moving toward that goal for at least the last 30d with the tacit approval of CDC principals.  

There may be one issue the CDC could yield on and that is the CDC's onerous requirement for cruise lines to have contracts in place with service agencies ashore. That's probably unlawful. That means little to us although the removal of it, including the recent crap, touted as easing, that in lieu of contracts, cruise lines provide letters from such agencies stating that they won't negotiate contracts, removes obstacles to July One restart.

We're getting there. Painfully and slowly. If you booked cruises out of Caribbean ports or from Athens in July, you're ahead of the game. By August, at the latest, this is all going to be sorted out for sailing from US ports. July is possible from US ports but, at this point, I'd rather have a bird in hand ...... 

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I am not well versed in reading between the lines of legalese but my suspicion is both sides knew this was coming and have prepared accordingly. But in reading the updates that are coming from the CDC the past few weeks it seems they are moving to help reopening cruises by July. Even this week there is supposed to be another update according to Mr. Bayley so we shall see. (I am hoping for a relaxing of the onerous mask wearing rules!!) I also think that perhaps going to a negative test requirement verses the vaccination requirement was a "tip of the hat" to the state of Florida. 

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17 hours ago, LizzyBee23 said:

I also think the CDC needs to be put in check. It should be on politicians to implement such sweeping measures for this long... We don't get to vote for the CDC, and it's hard to argue we're in a true public health emergency anymore.

You wanna put politician's, some of whom believe that Jewish space lasers started the California wildfires, in charge of public health decisions?

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9 minutes ago, cruisinghawg said:

But in reading the updates that are coming from the CDC the past few weeks it seems they are moving to help reopening cruises by July.

All the CSO updates in the world are meaningless while the shoreside healthcare requirements are still required. 

No masks, no tests, no vaccine, etc. are inconsequential updates so long as the shoreside healthcare contracts are required.

It's like telling your 15 year old kid... "I'm going to buy you a car when you turn 16... as long as you have a job with a six figure salary".  Ha Ha!!!

If the CSO updates remove the shoreside healthcare contract requirements now we are in business.  Everything else is just noise. 

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9 minutes ago, twangster said:

All the CSO updates in the world are meaningless while the shoreside healthcare requirements are still required. 

No masks, no tests, no vaccine, etc. are inconsequential updates so long as the shoreside healthcare contracts are required.

It's like telling your 15 year old kid... "I'm going to buy you a car when you turn 16... as long as you have a job with a six figure salary".  Ha Ha!!!

If the CSO updates remove the shoreside healthcare contract requirements now we are in business.  Everything else is just noise. 

Thanks I didn't realize that the lines were being forced (is this correct) to have shore side contracts.  If so that seem illegal to me. 

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13 minutes ago, CruisinForABruisin said:

You wanna put politician's, some of whom believe that Jewish space lasers started the California wildfires, in charge of public health decisions?

Yes, its up to our elected officials to set public policy with input and guidance from various, applicable government agencies even when there are kooks on both sides of the political aisle. The CDC and other health agencies should be risk adverse and have a desire to err on the side of caution. But that attitude in policy making is not workable. We were never intended to try to set Zero Risk based policy in the US. The collateral damage from lockdowns should be a reminder of that lesson

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18 minutes ago, cruisinghawg said:

Thanks I didn't realize that the lines were being forced (is this correct) to have shore side contracts.  If so that seem illegal to me. 

The shoreside healthcare contract requirements are pretty onerous too. 

One could interpret them to mean they need to accommodate a scenario where 100% of guest and crew on all ships sailing will become infected and need to have available space for treatment by a shoreside healthcare provider. 

Even if a cruise line could execute such a contract it still has to be submitted to the CDC for review and acceptance and there is zero guarantee the CDC will accept any contract that is submitted.

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46 minutes ago, CruisinForABruisin said:

You wanna put politician's, some of whom believe that Jewish space lasers started the California wildfires, in charge of public health decisions?

Insofar as making policy is their job, yes. They're abdicating their responsibility by letting bureaucracies claim what should be the responsibilities of the legislature. Politicians do it to give themselves political cover, and it eventually leads to an electorate that gives them free passes by treating them like idiots instead of cynical professional politicians.

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The shoreside contract component was just another way to give the CDC a thousand ways to stop ships from sailing.  

There are so many ways the CDC could find fault with any contract submitted.

Until it is removed from the CSO (or heavily modified) ships won't sail. 

Let's hope that is part of the big news coming.  

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21 minutes ago, twangster said:

The shoreside healthcare contract requirements are pretty onerous too. 

One could interpret them to mean they need to accommodate a scenario where 100% of guest and crew on all ships sailing will become infected and need to have available space for treatment by a shoreside healthcare provider. 

Even if a cruise line could execute such a contract it still has to be submitted to the CDC for review and acceptance and there is zero guarantee the CDC will accept any contract that is submitted.

Yep pretty onerous right there. The CDC seems to think one one hand vaccines do not work and the other they are working just fine since we longer need the mask. This needs to be taken out as Florida has plenty of health care providers that could handle a small outbreak.

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8 minutes ago, cruisinghawg said:

This needs to be taken out as Florida has plenty of health care providers that could handle a small outbreak.

The CSO needs to be taken out.  So far the judge isn't willing to go there.  

In fact the judge played right from the CDC playbook.  He introduced another unnecessary delay to keep ships from sailing.  Mediation just was the judge kicking the can down the road a month or so on the CDC's behalf.  

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2 hours ago, smokeybandit said:

I bet not a single public health authority is interested in any such agreement. Way too much liability.

 

Plus it's not just public health. Overlooked is that they need to get contracts with hospitals, transportation services and hotels, too.

Royal Caribbean Group signed an agreement with Port Canaveral and it's now on its way to the Florida Dept. of Health for state approval.

(It's in the video beginning at 0:35, not in the print summary)

Royal Caribbean vaccinates crew members in effort to get cruises to set sail by this summer – WFTV

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9 minutes ago, dswallow said:

Royal Caribbean Group signed an agreement with Port Canaveral and it's now on its way to the Florida Dept. of Health for state approval.

(It's in the video beginning at 0:35, not in the print summary)

Royal Caribbean vaccinates crew members in effort to get cruises to set sail by this summer – WFTV

Noteable at the end of the video is the RC VP guy in the video saying there'd be an announcement about test cruises "very soon"

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Stop with the vagueness. Stop using terms like "very soon". 

Are we back to the test cruises now? Under 60 days until July 15th. If test cruises are going to happen, is it realistic to think Royal will sail in mid-July from the US? 

I know its a fluid situation with the CDC and July but its time for Royal to come out and give some solid updates for its customer of cruises in July. 

It would be good to hear some kind of realistic, solid plan from Royal. 

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41 minutes ago, UNCFanatik said:

Stop with the vagueness. Stop using terms like "very soon". 

Are we back to the test cruises now? Under 60 days until July 15th. If test cruises are going to happen, is it realistic to think Royal will sail in mid-July from the US? 

I know its a fluid situation with the CDC and July but its time for Royal to come out and give some solid updates for its customer of cruises in July. 

It would be good to hear some kind of realistic, solid plan from Royal. 

Pretty sure that's what Royal is saying to the CDC.

Also pretty hard to come up with a solid plan when you are dependent on the CDC.  

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8 minutes ago, twangster said:

Pretty sure that's what Royal is saying to the CDC.

Also pretty hard to come up with a solid plan when you are dependent on the CDC.  

I understand they are dealing with an incompetent agency and nonsensical rules. I get that and I know the cruise lines need to get back to sailing. I am a big fan of that happening. 

I get all that. If test cruises are now the plan, then just state as such. Give a timeline of when test cruises will begin albeit tentative to CDC approval. If you look at the 30 day in advance application and then the 5 day approval time, time is just running short for a mid-July restart. Maybe they have made the application and received approval?? 

I know its a fluid situation. I know I am biased cause I have a mid-july sailing. I am trying to stay patient but I desperately need a vacation and to be on a lounger on the deck with a cold drink in my hand!

 

 

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