Commentary: A Closer Look at a Supreme Court Case That Could Help Decide the Legality of Biden’s Vaccine Mandate

Every now and again, an otherwise arcane legal topic suddenly becomes relevant to contemporary political debate. At that point, general commentary suddenly becomes filled with newly minted experts with strong positions on what is typically a nuanced issue. Thus, at various points during the past decade, Twitter saw a flood of hitherto undisclosed connoisseurs on the intricacies of the Logan Act, a constitutionally problematic piece of legislation that emerged from the same 18th century administration that brought us the infamous Alien and Sedition Acts. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, some observers suddenly expressed deep-seated opinions on the Jones Act, a complex piece of maritime law most people had probably never heard of prior to 2017.

So it seems to be with Jacobson v. Massachusetts, the previously obscure 116-year-old precedent – it barely warrants a footnote in most constitutional law treatises – that people have taken to citing whenever anyone questions the legality or constitutionality of vaccine mandates in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. But Jacobson is not some sort of argumentative checkmate. If the decision were actually taken to the lengths that some of its proponents suggest, it would be a truly terrifying ruling.

Although I drafted most of this article before encountering Josh Blackman’s excellent law review article on Jacobson (available here), I did rely on it for some of the procedural history of the case, as well as some of the cases from the pandemic that relied upon Jacobson. It is well worth a read for anyone else interested in learning more about the case.

Read More

Dr. Simone Gold of America’s Frontline Doctors Responds to Twitter’s Censorship of Her Account

Dr. Simone Gold, a board-certified emergency physician and the founder of America’s Frontline Doctors, has responded to Twitter’s removal of her tweet about treatments for COVID-19 and locking her out of her account.

In her response, Dr. Gold – who also graduated from Stanford Law School after completing her medical degree – called out her temporary Twitter ban, calling the action “another classic case of tech censorship against anyone who speaks out against the media narrative.”

Read More

Ohio House Considers Bipartisan Bill to Expand Access to Treatment in Lieu of Convictions

  The Ohio House is considering a bipartisan bill that would make it easier for non-violent offenders to receive treatment for drug addiction in lieu of a criminal conviction. The legislation, House Bill 1, was proposed May 21 as part of a package of bipartisan bills. “The goal is to…

Read More