Federal Court Rules Against Ron DeSantis In Cruise Ship Case


A federal appeals court has now ruled against the administration of Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, who’d sought the overturning of requirements for passengers of cruise ships in Florida to be vaccinated against COVID-19. DeSantis and his team pursued that ambition no matter the documented possibility of cruise ships providing an opportunity for the rapid spread of infections. Now, a three-judge panel on the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has formally concluded that guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding the restarting of cruise ship operations “are rules, not suggestions,” as the Miami Herald summarizes.

Two judges on the panel backed the ruling, while a third opposed it. Previously, federal Judge Steven Merryday — an appointee of President George H.W. Bush — had issued a preliminary injunction in favor of the DeSantis administration that “would’ve turned the CDC’s regulations into suggestions on Sunday,” the Herald explains. Throughout the pandemic, DeSantis has opposed imposing strict measures against the virus, even as substantial numbers of the Floridians whose interests he is supposed to be representing have died.

Making his appalling lack of seriousness regarding the situation even more clear, DeSantis’s team recently began selling merchandise containing messages going for Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health, who — for some reason — has become a favorite villain of self-obsessed conservatives amid the pandemic. Fauci doesn’t even directly control many directly relevant areas of public policy — instead, he works on scientific research and serves as a presidential adviser — and yet, Republicans have freaked out. While Americans have gotten sick and died by the thousands, Republican leaders have focused on feverishly complaining about mild inconveniences.

The case in which the federal appeals court in question ruled against the DeSantis administration over the weekend stemmed from a lawsuit that the Florida governor filed against federal authorities. As part of the proceedings, the U.S. Department of Justice noted to the court just last week that the “protocols at issue here require conventional communicable disease control measures on cruise ships traveling internationally, which is an area of traditional federal jurisdiction.”