You can’t do that!

photo credit: Politico

After yesterday’s Presidential announcement, I’m sure that’s echoing all over outside my semi-isolated existence.

But guess what?

Yes we can!

We can tell people they must be vaccinated. And, it’s old news.

Some places already require vaccinations. Schools require childhood vaccinations. Some places of employment require flu vaccinations, others require proof of freedom from tuberculosis before employment. My healthcare system requires people to be vaccinated if they want to be clients.

There’s even Supreme Court precedence.

Way back in 1904, Heming Jacobson felt that mandatory smallpox vaccination violated his liberties. After all, he and his son had proof that they had a previous adverse reaction to vaccinations. They shouldn’t have to sacrifice their own personal liberties for the good of others, they argued.

There are manifold restraints to which every person is necessarily subject for the common good. On any other basis, organized society could not exist with safety to its members. Society based on the rule that each one is a law unto himself would soon be confronted with disorder and anarchy.

Politico quotes the man who wrote the opinion, Justice John Marshall Harlan.

Justice John Marshall, the Supreme Court Justice who wrote the opinion is most known and respected for his level-headed dissents. He concluded:

“Real liberty for all could not exist under the operation of a principle which recognizes the right of each individual person to use his own, whether in respect of his person or his property, regardless of the injury that may be done to others.”

From Politico

Interestingly, both conservatives and liberal judges admire Justice John Marshall. Chief Justice John Roberts went so far as to place Harlan’s portrait on the walls of the room where justices discuss cases. 

You can read the entire Politico article here. It’s a long read, and so worth the effort. So get a cup of coffee and a couple of Friday scones and see what Peter S. Canellos, POLITICO’s editor and author of the new bookThe Great Dissenter: The Story of John Marshall Harlan, America’s Judicial Hero.

In the meantime, I’ve long argued that employers have always given employees mandates in the workplace: What’s appropriate to wear, when to show up for work, training required, when to have lunch. In other words, do these things, or don’t work here.

Now most employers will give us a choice:

Get vaccinated, or get tested, or don’t work here.

And now a segue to the logic behind mask mandates that might just give you a chuckle:

I think John Marshall Harlan would be proud.

My regular readers know that I’ve written about Covid-19 since it was confined to China. If you want to read more, please go to the search bar and type COVID. Here’s where I began.