Shot mandate dating back to 1905 gets constitutional challenge

An Air Force medical technician draws a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to inoculate Air Force reservists at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington, Sept. 12, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Paolo Felicitas)
An Air Force medical technician draws a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to inoculate Air Force reservists at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington, Sept. 12, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Paolo Felicitas)

A court precedent allowing governments to order populations to take shots is being challenged because it comes from a smallpox era from which medicine has advanced greatly, and it was abused during COVID-19.

The New Civil Liberties Alliance said it has petitioned the Supreme Court on behalf of clients Jeanna Norris, Kraig Ehm and D’Ann Rohrer over Michigan State University’s “unlawful and unscientific COVID-19 vaccine mandate.”

Two clients were fired by the school, even though they “had naturally acquired immunity to COVID,” for refusing to take the experimental shots that the school had ordered them to accept.

Multiple studies now have documented the dangerous, even fatal, side effects from many of those shot programs that were developed – and sold to the government – during the pandemic.

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“By conditioning their public employment on receiving unnecessary medical treatment, MSU violated their constitutional right to refuse medical intervention and ignored their statutory right to informed consent,” the legal team said.

“NCLA’s petition for a writ of certiorari asks the court to hold that the 1905 Jacobson v. Massachusetts decision requires states to satisfy at least intermediate scrutiny before mandating their employees receive an unnecessary vaccine.”

The NCLA said, “An unelected, unaccountable administrator imposed MSU’s COVID vaccine mandate on all employees and students without an approved medical or religious exemption. Despite claiming to rely on CDC guidance, MSU permitted individuals to satisfy the standard by taking any WHO-approved vaccine, including those that are not FDA-approved. At the same time, and contrary to all scientific evidence and basic principles of immunology, MSU refused to recognize naturally acquired immunity to the virus.,”

Ehm and Rohrer were fired; Norris was given a religious exemption.

The district court claimed the process survived a “rational basis review” but the legal team said a higher standard is needed.

“NCLA’s petition maintains that rational basis review is not the proper standard by which to evaluate vaccine mandates because such mandates impinge upon the constitutional rights to bodily integrity and to refuse medical intervention. Instead, intermediate scrutiny must be applied, meaning that the policy in question must be substantially related to an important governmental interest,” the legal team said.

Under that, ordering shots to individuals who already were immune would not be related to any such interest.

“The Supreme Court has long recognized that the right to refuse treatment is deeply rooted in America’s history and traditions, and a state actor like MSU is not entitled to interfere in personal health decisions without a sufficiently compelling reason and even then, only in a way that is necessary to achieve a legitimate goal,” the legal team said.

The precedent comes from the Jacobson case, which was decided more than a century ago during a smallpox outbreak.

That decided government can order shots.

But since then, courts have been misreading it to create an “unlimited license” for such health demands.

In fact, they have “failed to recognize that Jacobson preceded modern constitutional analysis that requires government to bear a heavier burden before limiting citizens’ rights to bodily autonomy.”

Gregory Dolin, senior litigation counsel, explained, “During the COVID pandemic various governmental entities ran roughshod over not just constitutional law, but also the basic scientific principles which they claimed to be following. Now that the country mostly has returned to normal, the court has an opportunity to clarify once and for all that while government has broad powers to protect public health it still must act with due regard to people’s civil liberties.”

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