On Sunday, US District Judge Kathleen Williams placed an injunction on the Florida law which prevented businesses from requiring “vaccine passports” or other types of proof of COVID-19 antibody protections, for entrance to those businesses. In her ruling, Judge Williams, who was (not surprisingly) appointed to the bench by Barack Obama, stated that the law really didn’t prohibit Norwegian Cruise Lines (the business that filed the suit) from imposing rules regarding COVID-19 mitigation efforts outside of a vaccine passport, and therefore, wasn’t effective.
From the decision:
“While companies cannot require customers to verify their vaccination status with ‘documentation,’ the statute does not prohibit businesses from verifying vaccination status in other ways (e.g., orally) Accordingly, under (the law), businesses could still ‘discriminate’ against unvaccinated individuals by adopting a vaccination requirement, which they could enforce by requiring oral verification of vaccination status before entry or by deterring unvaccinated patrons from entering by putting up signs that read ‘vaccinated customers only’ and ‘unvaccinated patrons are not allowed.’”
Also, she wrote that the law “does not prohibit businesses from subjecting unvaccinated customers — and those who decline to verify their vaccination status and are deemed unvaccinated — to restrictions, requirements, and expenses that do not apply to vaccinated patrons.”
But this judge wasn’t put on the bench to decide whether or not laws are effective. If we were judging laws by their effectiveness, we’d end up with about 12 laws in the United States. Murder is illegal in Chicago and we all know how that has turned out. Williams was put on the bench to determine the constitutionality of laws, which not once during her rambling 60-page decision on the injunction, did she make a convincing determination regarding the constitutional basis for her decision. She weakly linked her decision to a First Amendment Challenge, stating that a ban on vaccine passports was a “content-based restriction.”
The Statute prohibits businesses from requiring their patrons to present “documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination or post-infection recovery” for access or services. Fla. Stat. § 381.00316(1). However, nothing in the Statute prohibits businesses from demanding documentation of a negative COVID-19 test or any other type of medical or informational documentation.
No shit, Sherlock. Norwegian was fully within their rights to demand every passenger present a COVID-19 test for entry, much like the current restrictions for entry into the state of Hawaii. No liberal has argued against that. Additionally, no one is proposing that passengers be required to present evidence of a mumps vaccine before boarding a cruise line. Williams’s decision here is flat-out stupid. If the goal is to stop the spread, and passengers can prove they have tested negative within 72 hours, (weekly testing is a substitute for most vaccine mandates) then they likely cannot spread the virus.
Williams also refers to CDC orders throughout her decision, but then fails to mention that the CDC has also stated that vaccines provide very little protection for transmission and infection, hospitalization, or death. In fact, the CDC does not even keep track of breakthrough cases as a portion of the data they do collect. They have repeatedly stated that vaccinated people still can get sick, be hospitalized, and die from the virus, so that vaccine passports still do not mitigate against an outbreak on a cruise ship. Vaccinated people can still transmit the virus to vaccinated people, and those vaccinated people, once sick, can still die from the virus. Williams accounts for none of this in her rambling and nonsensical decision.
Williams argues that the dissemination of information is within a First Amendment right, however, thinks that DEMANDING information from private citizens falls within this right. She falsely makes the argument that this is a case of the government prohibiting communication between a patron and a business. That’s just not true. The is a prohibition on a business being able to demand medical information (something that is technically protected by HIPAA), from a patron. Surely, they can determine their own operating practices, but only when those practices are within the laws of the jurisdiction in which they are operating. The only thing that current law does is make that exchange of information voluntary.
Which leaves a very interesting question: What information are they NOT entitled to? Could a business demand your voting record? Could they legally determine whether or not to provide you with service based upon your social media history, or whether or not you agree with basic tenets of whatever imagined beliefs they choose? With liberals suddenly becoming the proponents of “private business,” where do they agree to draw the line?
These disingenuous whores at Norwegian have had no problem with infecting hundreds of passengers with other viral pathogens previously, as no mandates have been required for any other vaccines as a portion of their travel requirements in the past. In fact, in 2019, several hundred passengers on a Norwegian Cruise Line got sick with the norovirus, requiring that the ship to return to port. Had the government required that all passengers return to port healthy and absent a viral pathogen, they would be fighting it tooth and nail.
Williams’s decision clearly tramples the rights to privacy of the individual in exchange for a little protection for Norwegian, which has been forcefully conscripted into the Branch Covidian army of the US Federal Government. It isn’t the government enforcing these overbearing regulations, but rather forcing these private businesses to do their bidding. But you don’t hear liberals complaining about that, do ya?