DeSantis Threatens Legal Fight Against CDC's COVID-19 Cruise Ship Rules

On Monday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis threatened to take legal action to fight the court order left in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding cruise ship restrictions.

He said during a press conference that his administration is “absolutely going to pursue” all legal avenues, even if that means going to the Supreme Court.

The Hill reports:

A panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to grant the temporary stay in a 2-1 decision late Saturday. The ruling occurred shortly before a previous order blocking the rules from Judge Steven Merryday of the Middle District of Florida was about to go in effect, Reuters reported.

The last-minute ruling arrived months after DeSantis announced the state’s lawsuit against the federal government, arguing that the CDC was overstepping its authority with sailing orders and health requirements for cruise ships.

Under the agency’s orders, cruise lines were required to adhere to a set of testing and safety measures before being able to take to the waters after a number of COVID-19 outbreaks were recorded on cruises last year.

In his comments in Poinciana, Fla., on Monday, DeSantis said he thinks the state will “probably” take its legal fight “to the full 11th Circuit en banc.”

“I think that most courts at this point have had their limit with the CDC issuing these dictates without a firm statutory basis. So I'm confident that we'd win on the merits at the full 11th Circuit,” DeSantis said.

“Honestly, I'm confident we'd win at the U.S. Supreme Court,” he continued. “One of the reasons why we did it was not just it's an important industry for our state. We're committed to that, but it raises a bigger question.”

DeSantis added, “Can you just have one agency and the government without Congress ever passing a law just basically shutting down an industry? Maybe you don't care about the cruise industry, but next time, it might be your industry.”

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