April 2, 2021
While the COVID pandemic begins to recede, there are still plenty of people out there who refuse to wear masks or get vaccinated. Many of them insist that mask mandates and the like “violate their rights.” If you run into one of these people, you have my permission to share with them two simple words.
In 1905, in the case of Jacobson v. Massachusetts, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld, against a constitutional challenge, a city ordinance that fined people who refused to be vaccinated against smallpox.
In 1922, in Zucht v. King, the Court unanimously upheld the proposition that states can require children to be vaccinated before they can attend public school.
And while the U.S. Supreme Court has never squarely addressed the issue, courts at both the federal and state level have rejected a constitutionally-grounded “religious exemption” to mandatory childhood vaccinations (though many states provide such an exemption by statute which may, itself, be unconstitutional).
Wear a mask, get vaccinated and let’s move on.