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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The state of Florida is still waiting for a federal judge’s decision on whether he will allow cruise ships to set sail again without approval from the CDC.

Lawyers for the state and the CDC were back in federal court Thursday, where a judge is deciding whether to grant Florida’s motion for a preliminary injunction against the CDC, specifically, its cruise ship restrictions.

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The state wants the CDC’s rules suspended while the larger case itself is hashed out, arguing Florida is losing millions of dollars and people are out of work.

The CDC says there’s nothing in the court record to support that.

U.S. Middle District of Florida Judge Steven D. Merryday spent a lot of time asking both sides about the CDC restrictions and its conditional sailing order.

The judge asked the CDC’s attorney whether its 95 percent vaccination rule and masks and social distancing rules are an overreach and really necessary or effective.

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Judge Merryday was equally tough on the state of Florida, which has advocated for people to make up their own minds about the risk of sailing. But the judge said in this case private decisions can have public consequences.

In other words, it’s not just you taking a risk, he told attorneys for the state.

John Murray, CEO of Port Canaveral, who was watching the hearing, said there’s a lot riding on the case and is glad to see it moving forward.

“I think the best thing I heard today was the judge saying that he’s going to present a ruling very soon. I think this case is out in the media. It’s driven a lot of the discussion in the media. And I think the sooner it’s decided the better we all are going forward,” said Murray. “Either way, it’s time to move forward.”

Judge Merryday told both parties he would get back to them with his decision as soon as possible.

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Right now, the no sail order remains in effect until Nov. 1, however, the CDC has made several updates to the no sail order and a brief filed Monday says it expects cruises to resume by mid-summer.

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Sanders declines to walk back past Amy Coney Barrett criticism after ObamaCare decision

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on Sunday declined to walk back his past comments that Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett would vote to end the Affordable Care Act after the newest justice in the country’s highest court voted in the majority to uphold the law.

Sanders, head of the Senate Budget Committee, appeared on CNN's "State of the Union," where anchor Dana Bash asked the longtime senator if he was wrong when he warned that Barrett would "vote to destroy the Affordable Care Act and kick millions of Americans off their health care."


Barrett was among the majority who kept the law, commonly known as ObamaCare, alive in a 7-2 decision last week, ruling that a coalition of 18 states and two individuals lacked standing to challenge its constitutionality.

"She has a long career in front of us," Sanders said. "I think that the Supreme Court today is loaded with very conservative people who in general will be voting for the wealthy and the powerful against the needs of working families."

With the Supreme Court's ruling last week, the entirety of ObamaCare was kept intact. Democrats had claimed that the court was sure to scrap the Affordable Care Act if Justice Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the Supreme Court. 


Barrett, the third justice appointed by former President Donald Trump, was joined in the majority by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the second Trump-appointed justice. Justice Neil Gorsuch, the first justice Trump appointed, dissented along with Justice Samuel Alito.

Republicans argued that ObamaCare's individual mandate became unconstitutional when Congress eliminated the penalty in 2017, asserting the rest of the law should be struck down as a result.


Some GOP-led states railed against the court’s decision after the ruling.

During his appearance, Sanders was also asked whether he agreed with New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s opinion that Justice Stephen Breyer should step down so President Biden could appoint a replacement.

The Vermont senator said that he’ll let Breyer "make that decision all by himself."

Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer and Thomas Barrabi contributed to this report.

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