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Norwegian sues Florida over mandatory vaccine ban


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5 hours ago, smokeybandit said:

Hearing is over.

 

Neither side presented a good case. I don't envy the judge.

I didn't see the show but the Judge can sidestep a ruling on the merits (which Merryday didn't in FL v. Bacerra - he ruled and wrote that FL won). He can limit his ruling to an interpretation of the law and then cite applicable precedent. 

This is the first test case of a state's right in a PHE to ban what amounts to a business's rights under EEOC. I know the law, i.e., a business has an ethical, moral and legal right to impose rules that create a safe environment for employees and customers as long as they aren't discriminatory.

What I don't know is on what legal basis FL claims it has the legal authority to ban businesses operating in the state from asking for proof of vaccination to enter or receive services. It's not clear that the state does not have that right. 

We'll see.

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46 minutes ago, JeffB said:

What I don't know is on what legal basis FL claims it has the legal authority to ban businesses operating in the state from asking for proof of vaccination to enter or receive services. It's not clear that the state does not have that right. 

As a former political science geek, I'm kind of hoping this becomes a great con law precedent. Given that (a) cruising is, by definition, international commerce and (b) the Constitution specifically gives Congress the authority to regulate such, is there wiggle room in that for a state to put in regulations of their own? My hunch is there will be a more narrow ruling, but I'd love to geek out reading a ruling that, one way or the other, sets a precedent on state oversight of cruising. ?

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1 hour ago, JeffB said:

I didn't see the show but the Judge can sidestep a ruling on the merits (which Merryday didn't in FL v. Bacerra - he ruled and wrote that FL won). He can limit his ruling to an interpretation of the law and then cite applicable precedent. 

This is the first test case of a state's right in a PHE to ban what amounts to a business's rights under EEOC. I know the law, i.e., a business has an ethical, moral and legal right to impose rules that create a safe environment for employees and customers as long as they aren't discriminatory.

What I don't know is on what legal basis FL claims it has the legal authority to ban businesses operating in the state from asking for proof of vaccination to enter or receive services. It's not clear that the state does not have that right. 

We'll see.

Jeff you are a much deeper thinker than I on this subject but isn't NCL being discriminatory but not allowing patrons not vaxed to cruise?

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52 minutes ago, cruisinghawg said:

Jeff you are a much deeper thinker than I on this subject but isn't NCL being discriminatory but not allowing patrons not vaxed to cruise?

You have no inherent right anywhere to board a privately owned cruise ship. Typically "discrimination" extends to religious and disability related reasoning. There's also the elements of employment law/equal opportunity law that defines discrimination in those settings involving things like race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Most of the states trying to make vaccination status some sort of protected class are going to face uphill battles because of the nature of a pandemic and the requirement of vaccination for health and safety reasons. But at best, you could see perhaps valid reasoning here for protection for access to essential services, like being able to go into a grocery store. But again, when there's a health safety concern it wouldn't be that unvaccinated couldn't enter; it would be that different precautions could apply to unvaccinated in order for them to enter. Anyway, then we get back to you not having an inherent right to board a privately owned cruise ship.

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13 hours ago, dswallow said:

You have no inherent right anywhere to board a privately owned cruise ship. Typically "discrimination" extends to religious and disability related reasoning. There's also the elements of employment law/equal opportunity law that defines discrimination in those settings involving things like race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Most of the states trying to make vaccination status some sort of protected class are going to face uphill battles because of the nature of a pandemic and the requirement of vaccination for health and safety reasons. But at best, you could see perhaps valid reasoning here for protection for access to essential services, like being able to go into a grocery store. But again, when there's a health safety concern it wouldn't be that unvaccinated couldn't enter; it would be that different precautions could apply to unvaccinated in order for them to enter. Anyway, then we get back to you not having an inherent right to board a privately owned cruise ship.

Does this lead to being vaccine challenged instead of unvaccinated ? ?

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14 hours ago, dswallow said:

You have no inherent right anywhere to board a privately owned cruise ship. Typically "discrimination" extends to religious and disability related reasoning. There's also the elements of employment law/equal opportunity law that defines discrimination in those settings involving things like race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Most of the states trying to make vaccination status some sort of protected class are going to face uphill battles because of the nature of a pandemic and the requirement of vaccination for health and safety reasons. But at best, you could see perhaps valid reasoning here for protection for access to essential services, like being able to go into a grocery store. But again, when there's a health safety concern it wouldn't be that unvaccinated couldn't enter; it would be that different precautions could apply to unvaccinated in order for them to enter. Anyway, then we get back to you not having an inherent right to board a privately owned cruise ship.

Thanks for this. Not sure about privately owned company when most of the cruise lines are traded on the stock exchange. It seems that many of us here own a piece of RC or any of the other lines. Does this still make them private? 

Since you mentioned religious and disability situations if someone cannot get the vaccine because of their religion would that not mean that they are being discriminated against? I do not know and just asking.

Also since you mentioned essential services is it not a stretch to believe that if you create one exemption then others would follow?

I am just asking as it seems NCL has not made any effort to resume their business as the other lines have done. It is funny they cannot seem to see that the state has not stopped any ship from sailing fully vaxed.

Again thanks for your knowledge on this.

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1 hour ago, cruisinghawg said:

Not sure about privately owned company when most of the cruise lines are traded on the stock exchange. It seems that many of us here own a piece of RC or any of the other lines. Does this still make them private?

If publicly traded the company isn’t private. Shareholder’s vote in selecting the board of directors, who influence decisions and policy within the business through their fiduciary duty. Shareholders voting is different than government declaring.

A private company does not have a fiduciary responsibility to public shareholders and thus has different operational flexibility.

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1 hour ago, cruisinghawg said:

Not sure about privately owned company when most of the cruise lines are traded on the stock exchange. It seems that many of us here own a piece of RC or any of the other lines. Does this still make them private? 

Stock ownership (see also @AlmondFarmer) as in public and private ownership of it, is different from a business, e.g., a cruise line, that is owned by individuals as opposed to governments, e.g., Amtrac, USPS. Fannie Mae. I don't know if you have a "right" to ride Amtrac but I know a cruise line can legally prevent you from entering. Thus @dswallowstatement: "You have no inherent right anywhere to board a privately owned cruise ship."

 

1 hour ago, cruisinghawg said:

Since you mentioned religious and disability situations if someone cannot get the vaccine because of their religion would that not mean that they are being discriminated against? I do not know and just asking.

 

No, as long as that class - exempted based on religious beliefs - has options. In this case, a cruise line offering a refund or re-booking at a later date. There is also the issue of "in the interest of the public's health" as @dswallowpoints out. Is denial of boarding without proof of vaccination in the greater interests of the public's health? This has already been tested in the USSC by schools. both public and private. Yes it is legal to require vaccinations to attend classes.  

1 hour ago, cruisinghawg said:

Also since you mentioned essential services is it not a stretch to believe that if you create one exemption then others would follow?

Sure, but the powers to grant specific services a "essential" in a publiv health emergency is probably left to the states. Could such designation be challenged? Yes. I don't think that concern applies here

 

1 hour ago, cruisinghawg said:

I am just asking as it seems NCL has not made any effort to resume their business as the other lines have done. It is funny they cannot seem to see that the state has not stopped any ship from sailing fully vaxed.

 

I think I am using the correct legal term but what you're suggesting is that NCL doesn't have standing for their suit to be heard in the court they filed it in. FL has already made that clima and is acting fro dismissal becasue of it. I think it's a strong point in favor of FL. Yes, it's technical and won't answer the question of whether Desantis can ban "vaccine passports." I don't think he does but one of the basic steps in filing law suit in court is to make sure all your Ts are crossed and and Is are dotted. Doesn't look like NCL's legal team did that.  

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1 hour ago, cruisinghawg said:

Thanks for this. Not sure about privately owned company when most of the cruise lines are traded on the stock exchange. It seems that many of us here own a piece of RC or any of the other lines. Does this still make them private? 

Since you mentioned religious and disability situations if someone cannot get the vaccine because of their religion would that not mean that they are being discriminated against? I do not know and just asking.

Also since you mentioned essential services is it not a stretch to believe that if you create one exemption then others would follow?

I am just asking as it seems NCL has not made any effort to resume their business as the other lines have done. It is funny they cannot seem to see that the state has not stopped any ship from sailing fully vaxed.

Again thanks for your knowledge on this.

The religious and medical disability concepts of discrimination are a basis of discrimination based on religious beliefs or based on a medical condition or disability (there are some general definitions involved here; it's not just an arbitrary statement of "I have a medical condition" that can suffice). Fear of a vaccine is not a medical condition. And while I have significant issues with religious exemptions personally, as a society we seem to have settled on permitting people to believe their way via organized religion out of various duties to others. At least the religious exemptions generally don't permit arbitrarily making up new religions particularly easily.

You may own shares in a public company, but that still doesn't afford you the right to walk into their offices anytime you want.

Florida is making serious threats to businesses and individuals; I'm not sure why you think those threats aren't effectively stopping a business from doing what the threats say they want to do. If a business or individual ignores them and behaves as if they do not exist, it becomes a game of chicken, and that's not really a great way to run a business. Though sometimes there's a strategy in doing exactly that, too. But if you want to start up a multi-billion dollar business then you can determine the strategy to use when a government threatens your business operation. In the meantime, NCL's management gets to decide theirs, just like any other business.

 

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Thanks guys. It seems the cruise lines have gotten creative in getting around this statute. Probably didn't need to as I have yet to see a ship held up by the state due to vax status. RC has a ship leaving tomorrow fully vaxed over 12 and we leave in 2 weeks on same. Florida is not going to stop a ship from requiring vax, it would be suicide for them.

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3 hours ago, cruisinghawg said:

RC has a ship leaving tomorrow fully vaxed over 12 and we leave in 2 weeks on same. Florida is not going to stop a ship from requiring vax, it would be suicide for them.

It's a little different in this case. Royal is providing transport to somewhere that has entry requirements. It's the USVI dictating the requirements of this particular cruise, not Royal. The Western Caribbean itineraries without the St. Thomas visit do not have this requirement. It's the same as an airline flying from Florida to a destination that requires vaccinations. The airlines are the ones tasked with making sure all passengers are vaccinated. 

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15 hours ago, AshleyDillo said:

It's a little different in this case. Royal is providing transport to somewhere that has entry requirements. It's the USVI dictating the requirements of this particular cruise, not Royal. The Western Caribbean itineraries without the St. Thomas visit do not have this requirement. It's the same as an airline flying from Florida to a destination that requires vaccinations. The airlines are the ones tasked with making sure all passengers are vaccinated. 

Yes I know.

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The Preliminary Injunction enjoining Florida from enforcing Section 381.00316 against NCL has been granted by the court.

Full order: https://www.2150.com/files/cc/1-21-cv-22492-KMW-CMM/43_051023674708_OrderGrantingPreliminaryInjunction.pdf

Everything: Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd et al v. Rivkees, M.D. (1:21-cv-22492) (2150.com)

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IV. CONCLUSION
For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction (DE3) is GRANTED. Defendant is ENJOINED from enforcing Section 381.00316 against Plaintiffs pending resolution of the merits of this case.

https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.flsd.596136/gov.uscourts.flsd.596136.43.0.pdf

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38 minutes ago, MrMarc said:

So now we have different rules for different cruise lines and for different ports.  Is public confusion ever good for an industry?

Now the law is the same in all U.S. states. Only Florida would not allow customers to be asked to provide proof of vaccination (Texas' law had a loophole if Federally mandated, which it is by CDC).

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1 hour ago, smokeybandit said:

Reading through the decision (which I don't necessarily disagree with), I'm not sure I agree with how the judge reached the decision.

There's a lot of legal stuff, especially about the First Amendment that is way over my head.

Of all the arguments, I thought the part on Page 36 really did a good job at explaining why the law didn't make logical sense.

You can't ask a customer if they are vaccinated, but can ask for proof of other medical info, while also punching a hole in your SeaPass card to basically let anyone else on the ship know that person is unvaccinated.

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