116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Home / Business
Norwegian Cruise Line could be clearing the way for businesses across the nation to require customers to show proof of vaccination before being served.
Lawyers looking into a federal district judge’s ruling on Sunday allowing Norwegian to require vaccination of all future passengers said the ruling, if upheld, could set a precedent that could strike down laws in several states, including in Iowa, barring businesses from requiring “vaccine passports.”
If that’s the end result of Norwegian’s challenge of Florida’s vaccine passport ban, it would be a huge political setback for Gov. Ron DeSantis, rumored to be considering a presidential run in 2024. and other Republican governors who have enacted passport bans to appeal to mostly conservative, vaccine-resistant constituents.
Twenty states, all with Republican governors, prohibit proof-of-vaccination requirements.
Eleven of the states’ bans were established through governors’ executive orders while nine others, including Florida, enacted their bans through legislation.
“I think the Norwegian lawsuit gave a template to businesses that feel overburdened by other states’ legislation,” said Michael Winkleman, a Miami-based lawyer specializing in maritime law.
While businesses in other states would have to file their own lawsuits challenging the particulars of their own state’s laws, Wiinkleman sees “a distinct possibility that the case will lead to all businesses being allowed to require vaccine passports.”
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Kathleen M. Williams allowing Norwegian to require vaccines of passengers on voyages starting Aug. 15 will have to survive an appeal by DeSantis and possible trip to the U.S. Supreme Court.