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Florida’s vaccine passport ban will stand, a Leon County Circuit Judge has ruled

Posted at 12:56 PM, Oct 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-15 12:56:02-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — In a decision handed down Thursday evening, Judge J. Layne Smith said the law prohibiting businesses from requiring customers show proof of vaccination didn’t violate the first amendment.

A Sarasota craft shop, Bead Adobe, had alleged the policy was a speech issue preventing them from operating a safe environment for customers.

In his order, Judge Smith didn’t say whether the vaccine passport ban was a good idea, only that the “decision belongs to the state's policymaker-the Florida Legislature.”

Bead Adobe called the ruling “disappointing” in a statement.

Attorneys said it was “too soon” to decide whether to appeal.

“The decision is disappointing, but we respect Judge Smith’s thoughtful analysis and are happy the order referenced the negative financial impact the law will have. We think other businesses will agree the ban is not helping bring back customers or hire staff and is bad for small businesses like ours,” Kirsten and Andrew Boyer of Bead Abode said.