Saturday, May 11, 2013
Federal Appeals Court Upholds Injunction Against the Florida State Statute Known as the "Cuba Amendment"
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has upheld a lower court's injunction against the "Cuba Amendment," a Florida Statute that prohibits any company that does business with Cuba (or any company that is in any way related to a company that does business with Cuba) from binnding on state or local public contracts in the State of Florida. The federal appellate court agreed that that there was a substantial likelihood of showing that the Cuba Amendment violated the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution "under principles of conflict preemption." The court found that "[t]he Cuba Amendment conflicts directly with the extensive and highly calibrated federal regime of sanctions against Cuba promulgated by the legislative and executive branches over almost fifty years." Because the Cuba Amendment differs dramatically from federal law, it weakened the President's ability "to speak for the Nation with one voice in dealing" with Cuba. The opinion is 44 pages long and re-affims that individual states cannot have their own foreign policy when the federal government has spoken. The case is Odebrecht Construction, Inc. v. Secretary, Florida Department of Transportation, No. 12-13958 (May 6, 2013).