Attorney General Ashley Moody continued Monday to defend the state’s legal challenge to federal vaccine passport requirements for cruise ships.
Moody, in Perry where she was honoring police officers, addressed the ongoing lawsuit pitting her office and the state of Florida against the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Florida is currently in litigation with the CDC and the federal government over the right to allow cruises to sail without proof of vaccination. A decision is expected soon. Federal guidelines require 95% of cruise passengers to be fully vaccinated to sail. But new Florida law bans businesses from requiring proof of vaccination to render services, putting the two guidelines at odds.
“For the future of what the CDC is permitted to do and allowed to do, this suit is absolutely essential. And most specifically, for Floridians who have been out of work for over a year because they are dependent on the cruise industry being allowed to operate at full capacity without unlawful influence from a government agency, it’s imperative,” Moody told reporters at the end of larger remarks.
“Cruise ships are struggling along to operate again. You’ve got a CDC who has completely overreached in what they have any legal authority to do. They’ve shut down an entire industry,” Moody said. “We had to bring suit before they could even start moving along.”
“Not only is it overreach,” Moody added, “it’s impeding the cruise industry’s ability to get up and get running at full capacity again.”
“It’s not just about the irreparable harm this is causing Floridians or the job loss in Florida. This is about what is permissible. What can the CDC under emergency powers do in terms of shutting down an entire industry?”
Moody’s comments to Florida media follow comments from a confident Gov. Ron DeSantis to a national outlet Sunday.
“We just had a hearing last week. Very positive response we thought, from the court. We think we’ll get a favorable ruling there. We definitely think we would win on appeal as well,” DeSantis said.
“Once we’re past the CDC’s intransigence, then they’re going to be free to sail in Florida. Of course, they’re going to have to follow Florida law. But they’re going to be able to do it without requiring vaccine passports.”
The Governor made the comments on “Sunday Morning Futures” on the Fox News Channel. He expects a win by the state to be upheld in the appeal process, should there be one.
Cruise ships and the right to resume operation without vaccine passports have been just one front in the ongoing war between DeSantis’ Tallahassee and Joe Biden‘s Washington. But it’s a battle state leaders seem to expect to win.