Thursday, October 2, 2008

Florida travel law snagged in federal court

Ignoring the foreign policy prerogatives of the State of Florida, a federal judge has blocked a Florida law affecting travel to Cuba from going into effect. The judge found it likely that the state law “will be found unconstitutional under the Federal Foreign Affairs powers, the Supremacy Clause, the Foreign Commerce Clause and the Interstate Commerce Clause.”

The law requires that travel agencies that book travel to Cuba – which are already licensed and regulated by the U.S. Treasury Department – post a $250,000 bond with the State of Florida, in addition to meeting other requirements.

In his order, United States District Judge Alan Gold wrote:

“I note that the Travel Act Amendments – which include extraordinary expensive registration and bonding requirements, exorbitant fines and a felony conviction for those who fail to comply with the law – constitute little more than an attempt to impose economic sanctions on travel to designated foreign governments, particularly the Republic of Cuba. But the right and power to impose such sanctions, and to establish foreign policy, remains, under our Federal Constitution, solely within the exclusive domain of the Congress of the United States and the President, and not within the aegis of the State of Florida under the guise of consumer protection.”

The October 1 court order is on this page; find the link at the case called ABC Charter, Inc et al v. Bronson. AP coverage here.

[Photo: Cubans waiting to recive travelers from a Miami flight at Terminal 2 of Havana’s airport.]


Anonymous said...

yes Peters, looks like you and your congressional staff know-nothings won't be inconvenienced by fewer flights to Cuba

Alex said...

The only know-nothings here, Anon, are David Rivera and his cohorts. Know nothing about the constitution, that is.

Anonymous said...

David Rivera does not know what else to do in order to keep his name in the news. He is unable to help Cubans in any way, shape or form, so he decides to make it worse for everyone. What a shameless guy!

Anonymous said...

you don't like david Rivera, then vote him out of office. Oh that's right you're going to need more than a handful of people who might agree with you and besides it takes too much work