Arguments set in ‘vaccine passport’ fight

RN Latonjia Washington gives a patient their COVID vaccine at Top of the World in Ocala, Florida, Friday, March 5, 2021. [Cyndi Chambers/Correspondent] 2021

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Posted January 28, 2022 | News Service of Florida

A federal appeals court will hear arguments in May in a Florida battle about whether Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings could require passengers to show documentation that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments during the week of May 16, according to a notice posted Monday.

The notice did not provide a specific date.

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration took the case to the Atlanta-based appeals court after U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams last year sided with Norwegian and issued a preliminary injunction against a state law that sought to bar businesses from requiring vaccination documentation — what has become known as vaccine passports.

The ruling, which applied only to Norwegian, said the state law violates the First Amendment and the dormant Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.