Rediscovering Jacobson in the Era of COVID-19

18 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2020 Last revised: 29 Jul 2020

See all articles by Wendy E. Parmet

Wendy E. Parmet

Northeastern University - School of Law

Date Written: July 28, 2020

Abstract

As courts continue to hear constitutional challenges to COVID-related orders, citations to the Supreme Court’s 1905 decision, Jacobson v. Massachusetts, have been proliferating. This essay re-examines Justice Harlan’s nuanced and ambiguous opinion in Jacobson, situating in in its epidemiological and jurisprudential context. The essay also looks at Jacobson’s complex legacy, and how judges, including Chief Justice Roberts in South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom, have been applying Jacobson as they review COVID-19 social distancing orders.

Keywords: COVID-19, Jacobson v. Massachusetts, pandemic, rights

Suggested Citation

Parmet, Wendy E., Rediscovering Jacobson in the Era of COVID-19 (July 28, 2020). 100 B.U. L. Rev. Online 117 (2020), Northeastern University School of Law Research Paper No. 377-2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3620353

Wendy E. Parmet (Contact Author)

Northeastern University - School of Law ( email )

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