Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd. et al. v. State Surgeon General, Florida Department of Health
Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd. et al. v. State Surgeon General, Florida Department of Health (U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Cir., Oct. 6, 2022): In a 2-1 decision, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated Florida’s ability to enforce a 2021 law prohibiting businesses from requiring customers to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination (or “vaccine passports”). A lower court temporarily paused enforcement of the law after Norwegian Cruise Line challenged it on grounds that it violated the company’s First Amendment rights, impermissibly burdened interstate commerce, and that the cruise line would suffer economic and reputational harm if passengers became ill on its ships. The court compared the vaccine passport ban to anti-discrimination laws, deciding the state has a significant and legitimate interest in protecting a class of individuals from exclusion from economic participation, and in protecting the privacy of individuals unwilling to share medical information with businesses. Florida’s interest in protecting its citizenry in these areas was found to outweigh the cruise line’s concerns. Read the full decision here.