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Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida's attorney general on Friday asked the Supreme Court to block the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's protocols requiring cruise lines to meet specific conditions before setting sail again.

Why it matters: The legal battle comes as ships gear up to restart operations after halting service during the pandemic. The CDC imposed mandates involving ventilation, social distancing, "pervasive" testing and reporting requirements, among others.

State of play: Florida won its initial effort to block the protocols in a district court. A federal appeals court ruled in the CDC's favor last week and left the rules in place.

  • In a new petition filed Friday, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody requested the court's emergency assistance, arguing the CDC exceeds its authority.

What she's saying: "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has, for the better part of 16 months, shut down the entire Nation's cruise industry," Moody argues.

  • The imposed rules continue to "harm an industry on which 159,000 Floridians rely for work and is devastating countless other businesses and industries that also rely on cruising."
  • "If the stay is not vacated now, Florida is all but guaranteed to lose yet another summer cruise season while the CDC pursues its appeal," she adds.

Worth noting: Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, one of the world's biggest cruise companies, is asking the courts to block a Florida law banning vaccine passports, arguing its cruises won't be able to meet CDC standards if it stays in place.

Go deeper

Oct 15, 2021 - Health

Appeals court declines to block Maine vaccine mandate

A health worker prepares a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine during a vaccination. Photo: Camilo Freedman/APhotografia/Getty Images

A federal appeals court on Friday denied an emergency request to block a COVID-19 vaccine mandate from going into effect in Maine, the Associated Press reports.

Driving the news: The mandate, which Gov. Janet Mills (D) announced in August, requires health care workers in Maine to get vaccinated by Oct. 29 or face losing their jobs.

Biden's SCOTUS commission to hold first public meeting on court reform

President Biden speaks in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden's bipartisan commission on the U.S. Supreme Court will hold a public meeting on Friday to discuss expanding the court, term limits and more, the White House announced Thursday.

Why it matters: The six-month commission will offer an analysis of the principal arguments surrounding the divisive subject. Progressives are pushing for more seats after former President Trump appointed three justices to the court.

Mike Allen, author of AM
36 mins ago - Politics & Policy

GOP senator calls for senility test for aging leaders

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), a physician, told me during an "Axios on HBO" interview that he favors cognition tests for aging leaders of all three branches of government.

Why it matters: Wisdom comes with age. But science also shows that we lose something. And much of the world is now run by old people — including President Biden, 78 ... Speaker Pelosi, 81 ...  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, 70 ... and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 79.