Lawyer says states can fine or jail people who won’t get vaccinated

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There are three different vaccines in the third round of trials in the race to address coronavirus. Half the nation said in polls that they won’t get vaccinated – at least, not to start. Attorney Dov Fox said people probably won’t have a choice, according to News10 local.

Fox is a law professor and the director of the Center for Health Law Policy and Bioethics at the University of San Diego and he weighed in on the possibility of states forcing people to be vaccinated under threat of fines or imprisonment.

“States can compel vaccinations in more or less intrusive ways,” he said in an interview. “They can limit access to schools or services or jobs if people don’t get vaccinated. They could force them to pay a fine or even lock them up in jail.”

So, they think they can take our jobs away or put us in jail???

Isn’t that unconstitutional?

Fox said France puts people in jail. In the states, it hasn’t been done, but since 1905, according to a Massachusetts ruling, people could be fined for not getting a Smallpox vaccination.

That case formed the legal basis for vaccine requirements at schools and has been upheld in subsequent decisions.

“Courts have found that when medical necessity requires it, the public health outweighs the individual rights and liberties at stake,” Fox said.

MIGHT NOT BE THE BEST POLICY

Fox agreed that ordering vaccinations might not be the best public policy. He also said the current makeup of the Supreme Court could mean it would be found unconstitutional.

Opponents of a federal mandate would cite the Supreme Court’s 2012 decision on the Affordable Care Act, Fox said. In that case, the justices ruled that Congress could not use its powers to regulate interstate commerce to require people to buy health insurance, even though the ACA’s individual mandate was ultimately upheld on separate grounds.

That means the U.S. could have a patchwork of different vaccine requirements in different states.

Religious exemptions are not guaranteed under the 1st Amendment.


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