The Surprisingly Strong Supreme Court Precedent Supporting Vaccine Mandates
There is a quote from the judge that wrote the ruling. I think COVID has only reinforced this important lesson.
“Real liberty for all could not exist under the operation of a principle which recognizes the right of each individual person to use his own, whether in respect of his person or his property, regardless of the injury that may be done to others.”
1905 decision in Jacobson v. Massachusetts
By PETER S. CANELLOS and JOEL LAU
09/08/2021 05:00 AM EDT
Henning Jacobson, a 50-year-old minister, put his faith in his own liberty. Back in his native Sweden, he had suffered a bad reaction to a vaccine as an infant, struggling for years with an angry rash. Now he was an American citizen, serving as pastor of the Swedish Lutheran Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts. That gave him the full protections of the U.S. Constitution.
So when the Cambridge board of health decided that all adults must be vaccinated for smallpox, Jacobson sought refuge in the Constitution’s promise that no state shall “deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law.”
The year was 1904, and when his politically charged legal challenge to the $5 fine for failing to get vaccinated made its way to the Supreme Court, the justices had a surprise for Rev. Jacobson. One man’s liberty, they declared in a 7-2 ruling handed down the following February, cannot deprive his neighbors of their own liberty — in this case by allowing the spread of disease. Jacobson, they ruled, must abide by the order of the Cambridge board of health or pay the penalty.