A federal judge ruled in favor of Florida State in its fight against the CDC agency (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and its CSO (Conditional Sailing Order) order that grounded the cruise industry due to the COVID crisis.
On Friday, June 20, US District Judge Steven Merryday granted a preliminary injunction.
The order means that CDC cannot enforce its order against a cruise ship departing/arriving from a Florida port.
Merryday said in his ruling that "Florida is highly likely to prevail on the merits of the claim" that the CDC order exceeds its authority.
However, the injunction stayed until July 18, 2021, at which time the CSO remains as a "non-binding 'consideration,' 'recommendation' or 'guideline,'" similar to how the Centers addressed the practices of industries "such as airlines, railroads, hotels, casinos, sports venues, buses, subways and others."
Governor Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody, who stood outside PortMiami in April to announce their intent to sue the federal government, praised this ruling in separate statements on Friday.
DeSantis said the CDC had been wrong all along, and they had known it.
"The CDC and the (President Joe) Biden administration concocted a plan to sink the cruise industry, hiding behind bureaucratic delay and lawsuits. Today, we are securing this victory for Florida families, for the cruise industry and for every state that wants to preserve its rights in the face of unprecedented federal overreach."
Moody touted the ruling as "a victory for the hardworking Floridians whose livelihoods depend on the cruise industry."
"The federal government does not, nor should it ever, have the authority to single out and lock down an entire industry indefinitely. I am excited to see the cruise industry get sailing again, and proud to stand with Gov. Ron DeSantis against illegal federal overreach and draconian lockdown measures."