Photo at top via AP News
A brief historical account of vaccine mandates in the U.S., an establishment of the fact that the law is fluid and an insufficient device in protecting liberty and a call to oppose all infringements on liberty, including but certainly not limited to the vaccine passes introduced in France, Italy and New York.
In 1902, public health officials went door to door in Boston and Cambridge with the SmallPox vaccine. They mandated that all adults receive the vaccination or pay a $5 fine, the modern-day equivalent of about $150.
Henning Jacobson, who claimed to have had a traumatic experience with the vaccine as a kid, refused it for him and his son. Jacobson took his battle against the regulation to the Supreme Court.
Jacobson argued that “Compulsion to introduce a disease into a health system is a violation of liberty.” He believed that such liberty was guaranteed by the preamble to the constitution.
In 1905 the Supreme Court ruled against Jacobson in the case Jacobson v. Massachusetts.
“The rights of the individual in respect of his liberty may at times, under the pressure of great dangers, be subjected to such restraint, to be enforced by reasonable regulations, as the safety of the general public may demand,” Justice John Marshall Harlan wrote for the court.
In doing so, the court set a precedent for violation of liberty, but it was obviously not the first time. Phrases such as “great dangers” and “reasonable regulations” are subjective. This is why the law is fluid and not good at protecting liberty.
John Hasas argued in his 1995 Essay, “The Myth of the Rule of Law,” that a government of law and not people does not exist, and people are subjugated when they believe that there is anything objective about the law. He further argued that the law being indeterminate, there should not be a governmental monopoly on law.
“The law human beings create to regulate their conduct is made up of incompatible, contradictory rules and principles: and as anyone who has studied a little logic can demonstrate, any conclusion can be validly derived from a set of contradictory premises,” Hasas wrote, “This means that a logically sound argument can be found for any legal conclusion.”
Since any conclusion can be derived from the law, anyone who cares about liberty supports liberty regardless of what the courts say. Even though the courts have ruled in favor of vaccine mandates, supporting freedom means opposing all types of infringement on people’s sovereignty, including vaccine mandates and passports.
Infringements on medical freedom are returning, and a massive surveillance state accompanies them. However, as pointed out before, people make the law. If a citizenry becomes complacent and allows the State to trample their freedom, the possibility of losing more freedom increases. If there is massive non-compliance and protests, then the elites who run the country will be forced to back down.
France and Italy implemented vaccine pass systems. In both systems, the State barred people from entering restaurants and bars without proof of COVID-19 vaccination. In Italy, the order included gyms, pools, museums and theaters, according to Reuters.
AP news reported that at least 200,000 marched across France and 80,000 across Italy in opposition to the vaccine pass.
“We are creating a great inequality between citizens,” said one protester in Verona. “We will have first-class citizens, who can access public services, the theater, social life, and second-class citizens, who cannot. This thing has led to apartheid and the Holocaust.”
Vaccine passports are a significant infringement on liberty that will create more negative interactions with police and harm minority communities. In some cases, such as that of France and New York City, they are also instituted unilaterally by the executive. New York was the first U.S. city to create a vaccine passport starting August 16th.
“This is a miraculous place literally full of wonders,” Mayor Bill De Blasio proclaimed, “If you are vaccinated all that is going to open up to you, you have the key, you can open the door. If you are unvaccinated, unfortunately, you will not be able to participate in many things.”
New York is calling its app the Excelsior Pass. People can get a QR code on their phone or bring physical proof of vaccination or negative test results when entering an establishment.
Proof of vaccination is not just required for certain government buildings; it is a requirement being forced upon private businesses who may or may not choose to enforce it because NYC does not have the manpower or the audacity to station police officers at the door to every restaurant to check people’s vaccination status.
According to one video, several businesses in NYC posted signs saying, “We do not discriminate against any customer based on sex, gender, creed, age, vaccinated or unvaccinated. All customers who wish to patronize are welcome in our establishment.”
Private establishments should continue to resist orders such as Mayor De Blasio’s and provide service to all without regard to their confidential health information.