Mandatory Vaccination & The Failure Of Modern Constitutional Law | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Mandatory Vaccination & The Failure Of Modern Constitutional Law

Stare Decisis is an old Latin phrase meaning “Let wrong decisions of the Court stand.” The term is more commonly spoken of today as the common-law doctrine of precedent.

During the COVID-19 crisis, Jacobson v. Massachusetts became the fountainhead for pandemic jurisprudence. Courts relied on this 1905 precedent to resolve disputes about religious freedom, abortion, gun rights, voting rights, the right to travel, and many other contexts. But Justice John Marshall Harlan’s decision was meant to be very narrow. It upheld the state’s power to impose a nominal fine on an unvaccinated person. No more, no less. Yet, judges now follow a variant of Jacobson that is far removed from the Lochner-era decision. And the Supreme Court is largely to blame for these errors.

Recent research on the part of constitutional law scholar Josh Blackman, his article “The Irrepressible Myth of Jacobson v. Massachusetts” demonstrated that over the course of a century, four prominent justices established a mythical narrative surrounding Jacobson v. Massachusetts that has obscured any historical view of this case as either a matter of law or fact. This myth has four levels: