Texas joins Florida lawsuit against CDC virus rules on cruise ships

Florida

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A federal judge granted a motion from the state of Texas to join Florida’s lawsuit against the CDC, becoming a party to the fight to strike down the health agency’s authority to regulate the cruise industry.

Texas asked District Judge Steven Merryday in May if it could join the lawsuit, arguing its interests were also imperiled by the CDC’s Conditional Sail Order, which effectively kept cruise ships out of American waters for more than a year.

Merryday ruled on Thursday that “because the effect on Texas of a prohibition or restriction of sailing is to some extent different from the effect on Florida, an action by only Florida cannot thoroughly and precisely protect the interests of Texas.”

Merryday was unimpressed by the CDC’s response, writing the “CDC’s argument misses the mark.”

Florida has a new partner in that lawsuit, but it’s also facing another lawsuit over its state law banning businesses from requiring customers to be vaccinated.

Norwegian Cruise Line sued the state in the Southern District of Florida, arguing the state is preventing the company from “safely and soundly” resuming cruise operations due to its new law. The law went into effect July 1 and is based on an executive order issued by DeSantis earlier this year.

The first hearing in that lawsuit is Aug. 6 in Miami.

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