Twitter storm: Alan Dershowitz versus freedom

There is definitely a Twitter storm because of a declaration made by Alan Dershowitz. Here’s an example (just one of hundreds):

We may not like the idea of mandatory vaccination but, if it is mandated by a state or municipality, it is perfectly legal.

I looked up the law when we were discussing California (and other states) making certain child vaccinations mandatory for all public school children. The only exceptions that could be claimed are medical, such as a compromised immune system, or a serious allergy.

Here is the history.

Click to access mandatory-vaccinations-precedent-and-current-laws-031011.pdf

Historically, the preservation of the public health has been the primary responsibility of state and local governments, and the authority to enact laws relevant to the protection of the public health derives from the state’s general police powers. With respect to the preservation of the public health in cases of communicable disease outbreaks, these powers may include the institution of measures such as quarantine and isolation or the enactment of mandatory vaccination laws. Mandatory vaccination laws were first enacted in the early 19th century, beginning with Massachusetts’ smallpox vaccination law in 1809.

Jacobson v. Massachusetts is the seminal case regarding a state’s or municipality’s authority to institute a mandatory vaccination program as an exercise of its police powers. In Jacobson, the Supreme Court upheld a Massachusetts law that gave municipal boards of health the authority to require the vaccination of persons over the age of 21 against smallpox, and determined that the vaccination program instituted in the city of Cambridge had “a real and substantial relation to the protection of the public health and safety.” In upholding the law, the Court noted that “the police power of a State must be held to embrace, at least, such reasonable regulations established directly by legislative enactment as will protect the public health and the public safety.” The Court added that such laws were within the full discretion of the state, and that federal powers with respect to such laws extended only to ensure that the state laws did not “contravene the Constitution of the United States or infringe any right granted or secured by that instrument.”

I’m not a lawyer, but I think it is clear here that “legislative enactment” is required, not just edicts developed by governors or mayors at whim.

If you care to pursue it, this document also covers state vaccination laws, and the role of the Federal government. In short:

… under the Public Health Service Act, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services has authority to make and enforce regulations necessary “to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the States or possessions, or from one State or possession into any other State or possession.”

 

 

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18 Responses to Twitter storm: Alan Dershowitz versus freedom

  1. czarowniczy says:

    I’m OK with this if the first folks agittin’ them shots is Congress, the cabinet heads and the SCOTUS. I’ll line up for mine two weeks after they done got theirs.

    Liked by 2 people

    • stella says:

      It would be a state or city law, not Federal.

      Liked by 1 person

      • czarowniczy says:

        At this point but you can bet your bippy that there are members of Congress ready and willing make it a national priority. I’m also willing to bet that there are contingency plans in HHS for just that thing.

        The state governments started the School Located Vaccinations (SLV) in the late 1800s with Massachusetts starting around the mid-1800s as the best place to start was with trapped kids. As it progressed the Feds brought pressure on the states through withholding funds, just as they do with highway funds when they want a reluctant state to roll over.

        If mandatory vaccination becomes an issue Congress will start withholding funds to pressure states and if there are balky participants they’ll just pass a law and throw it into the courts.

        We knew that a viral episode would be a major problem but we didn’t foresee a major issue with voluntary vaccination…then again we were looking at it from a military perspective. I’m betting that there’s a mandatory vaccination bill slithering through some committee somewhere, it has to be.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. jeans2nd says:

    What happens with the Amish, or homeschoolers? Neither attend public schools, and the Amish, especially the strict ones, have little contact with the “English,” although they do vote and pay their taxes (Render unto Caesar…).

    Cannot help but agree with czar, let all the elected and unelected Little Tyrants (Fasci comes to mind…) take the vaccination first, in public for all to see, along with the pharmaceutical company’s CEOs of all those companies who stand to profit bigly from sale of the vaccine.

    Too bad nothing but morons use the twitter. The twitter could be used for so much good.
    Left my very first online forum in 1999, and swore never to use such social sites again. Sites like the twitter validate that decision daily.

    Liked by 1 person

    • stella says:

      Sorry if I confused this by talking about public schools, but the vaccinations could be mandated for all citizens, not just children.

      As far as Twitter is concerned, there are plenty of morons, but smart people too. I like to sort out the muck and try to educate where I can.

      Liked by 2 people

      • jeans2nd says:

        On the bright side, heck, they can’t even manage to do a complete census without paralyzing discord, do we really think they will vaccinate everyone?

        Did they mandate smallpox or another vaccination for everyone? idk, but have no memory of either parent receiving a vaccination. Not that it matters.
        Good research project for me. Tomorrow.

        Liked by 1 person

        • stella says:

          The Jacobson v. Massachusetts ruling had to do with mandatory smallpox vaccinations. You can read it in the pdf that I linked.

          Mandatory vaccination would be by state (or city), not country-wide. The census is run by the Federal government, so there is no comparison between the two.

          Liked by 3 people

        • Menagerie says:

          I was born in 1958. When I was a child everyone of us was vaccinated for smallpox at school. I also remember going to the nearest school, adults and children, to be given the polio vaccine, although I do not know if this was mandatory. I haven’t read Stella’s link yet.

          Liked by 2 people

          • jeans2nd says:

            We did the same. Smallpox hurt like heck, and we threw fits over having to take the polio vaccine, which was given in a sugar cube.
            But i’ve no memory of either parent receiving either.
            Interesting conundrum.

            Liked by 2 people

          • stella says:

            None of those were mandatory, Menagerie. The only one I know about is the smallpox vaccination in Massachusetts in the early 1900’s.

            Liked by 2 people

          • stella says:

            I got my smallpox vaccine at the doctor’s office, and my polio vaccine at school. I was in the first trial of the Salk vaccine (the shot). I got the REAL vaccine, not the placebo.

            Liked by 2 people

          • czarina33 says:

            Both of my parents had siblings who had paralysis from polio in the 1930’s-40’s. We stood in lines as a family and not one of us kids complained about the shots (having been told how important it was to get the shots) and were okay with the sugar cubes at school which came along later. I remember my mother gave us each a small piece of candy to eat after the cube, in case it did not taste good. We had smallpox revaccinations in the late sixties a required before travel in South America, but only my mother’s formed a scab, the rest of us were still immune.

            Liked by 2 people

            • stella says:

              I imagine none of us is still immune. If we were ever confronted with smallpox again, I would be afraid of what would happen.

              Liked by 2 people

              • czarina33 says:

                I would be at the front of the line for revaccination. I prefer to avoid the severe illness, scars and blindness, 30% risk of death.

                Liked by 2 people

              • Menagerie says:

                Stella, you would be going nuts down here in the Bible Belt. A huuuuuge number of people have decided that any covid 19 vaccine is the Mark of the Beast, especially since the rumors of making it mandatory and trackable. Good grief at the wailing.

                I will say this. I think that the Christians have the courage of their convictions. They will go to jail before giving in, those who have those beliefs.

                I’m not sold on mandatory, legal or not, and I also do not intend to be first in line.

                Liked by 1 person

                • stella says:

                  I wouldn’t support mandatory vaccination unless I was convinced that there was a true health emergency. I’m not convinced that this is, and I don’t think we have to worry about legislated mandatory vaccination. The politicians would be afraid to do it.

                  Liked by 1 person

  3. litenmaus says:

    A couple of weeks ago I had spoken with an aid at Senator Steve Daines office. I was attempting to get information on how it was that we started with a Federal Government asking us to give them 15 days to flatten the curve, to being under unconstitutional house arrest.

    I was informed that the quarantine restrictions were perfectly Constitutional under the precedent setting case of Jacobson v Massachusetts back in 1905 during a smallpox epidemic.

    Liked by 3 people

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