Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Federal court nixes Florida anti-travel law

From the Timing is Everything Department: A Florida law aimed at reducing travel to Cuba was declared unconstitutional today in federal court. The “Sellers of Travel Act,” sponsored by Florida state Representative David Rivera, targeted the charter companies that provide flights to Cuba, requiring them to post a $250,000 bond, ten times the amount required for other travel agencies. Presumably, the cost would be passed on to consumers, and higher ticket prices would result in less travel, and perhaps fewer travel agencies.

The law was thrown out on the grounds that it usurps the federal government’s role in the conduct of foreign policy and the regulation of interstate and foreign commerce. “The fact that [Rivera’s] criticism of Cuba’s oppressive regime is well-founded is simply not the point,” Judge Alan Gold wrote in his decision. “What is the point is that the Florida Legislature may not impose exorbitant financial requirements (unrelated to consumer protection needs) and excessive penalties…in a desire to preclude travel to Cuba (and other designated countries) without running afoul of the United States Constitution.”

The decision is here (scroll to “ABC Charter, Inc et al v. Bronson”), and the Herald’s coverage is here.


Anonymous said...

another brick in the wall is removed. when will all americans be able to see for themselves what cuba is all about. i can hardly wait for the end of the exile's control of the message.

Anonymous said...

good just ruling. exiles should not make laws in favor of a segment of an enthic enclave (most cubans I know want to travel to cuba a lot to visit family and friends) .. just the exiles from 60s with no property, no famiyl and no spanihsh, who want to revenge.