Attorney Alan Dershowitz says the Constitution gives state governments the power to vaccinate people in order to prevent the spread of a contagious disease.
The Harvard Law School emeritus professor made the legal case during a web-based show, "Crowdsource the Truth" that was live on Facebook on Saturday.
"Let me put it very clearly, you have no constitutional right to endanger the public and spread the disease, even if you disagree. You have no right not to be vaccinated, you have no right not to wear a mask, you have no right to open up your business," he said.
The show’s interviewer Jason Goodman asked his guest if the government rules "you have to be vaccinated, we have to be vaccinated.”
Dershowitz’s answer, “Absolutely.”
"And if you refuse to be vaccinated, the state has the power to literally take you to a doctor's office and plunge a needle into your arm,” he added.
Dershowitz explained that a person can refuse medical treatment if the disease they are infected with isn’t contagious.
"But you have no right to refuse to be vaccinated against a contagious disease," he said."Public health, the police power of the Constitution gives the state the power to compel that. And there are cases in the United States Supreme Court.”
His supporting evidence that gives states the power is the state police power doctrine derived from the 10th Amendment.
Dershowitz said there are "cases after cases after cases" where the public health allows "reasonable actions to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.”
The Supreme Court has allowed each state to have police power, which gives them the ability to enact and enforce health laws like quarantines and even vaccination laws, to protect public health.
He said the government can provide an alternative to those who do not want to be vaccinated: Live in your home and "never, ever leave your home" or "live in a bubble."
"But if you want to interact with other people, you can't become Typhoid Mary," he said.
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