It’s hard to understand why a judge for the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked New York City schools from enforcing a vaccine requirement for teachers (“Covid-19 Vaccine Mandate for New York City Teachers Blocked by Federal Judge,” The Wall Street Journal, Sept. 26). Although the ruling is temporary and referred to a three-judge panel on an expedited basis, it is still baffling.
In Jacobson v. Massachusetts, the U.S. Supreme Court held in 1905 that the state could require residents to be vaccinated against smallpox. It was a legitimate exercise of the police power of the state to protect the public health and safety of its citizens and did not violate the plaintiff’s Fourteenth Amendment right to liberty.
Covid-19 poses as much risk as smallpox to the health of the public, which is why I think that New York City schools will prevail in the case.
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