No More Zoom Law School?: The Constitutionality of Mandatory Vaccine Laws

(Source) “We’re very close to [the COVID-19] vaccine,” former President Trump stated in a press brief on September 16, 2020, suggesting that a vaccine could be ready by election day. Then-President-elect Biden responded that he did not trust the President to determine when a vaccine would be ready for the public. On November 9, 2020, Pfizer, as part of Operation Warp Speed, announced early results from its COVID-19 vaccine trial that suggest that the their vaccine was more than 90 percent effective. Since the election, President Biden has been more aggressive in ensuring that more vaccines are available by pledging to purchase 200 million addition vaccine doses. Assuming that the vaccine can be delivered safely and effectively, can the state and federal governments require such vaccine? State Government The Fourteenth Amendment prohibits any state from depriving “any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.” However, the liberty protected by the Constitution is not absolute. The Supreme Court has recognized that a state can exercise its police power by enacting reasonable regulations to protect public health and safety. The Supreme Court first addressed the constitutionality of mandatory vaccine laws in 1905. In Jacobson v. Massachusetts, the Court [read more]

Vaccine Torts and Bruesewitz v. Wyeth

Professors Jeff Van Detta and Joanna Apolinsky comment on Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, which ruled that federal law immunized vaccine-manufacturers from design-defect tort claims under state law. The Supreme Court cited Detta and Apolinsky's article "Rethinking Liability for Vaccine Injuries", published in the JLPP, in their holding. [read more]