Mandatory vaccination for coronavirus gains support from ’civil libertarian’ Alan Dershowitz
This Article by The Great Thomas Lifson Appeared First In AmericanThinker.com
The media, computer modelers, epidemiologists, and the censors keeping dissenting views off of social media have succeeded in terrifying much of the political class and the American public into accepting far-reaching suspensions of civil liberties in the name of suppressing the spread of a Covid-19, a highly communicable flu strain whose lethality principally affects the elderly and those with comorbidities. At the moment it is an open question whether the lockdown ”cure” will end up being more lethal than the disease.
Last week, American Thinker took some flak, including from some conservatives for publishing Peter Barry Chowka’s warning, “Mandatory coronavirus vaccination looming on the horizon.” But retired Harvard Law School Professor and prominent civil libertarian Alan Dershowitz has unburdened himself in favor of exactly that.
Prominent liberal attorney and former Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz said this weekend that Americans have “no right” to refuse to wear a mask or open their businesses against executive lockdown orders. Additionally, argued Dershowitz, the state has every right to “plunge a needle into your arm” and forcibly vaccinate you when contagious diseases are at issue.
“Let me put it very clearly,” the lawyer said, speaking to podcast host Jason Goodman. “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.”
“[But] If you refuse to be vaccinated [for a contagious disease], the state has the power to literally take you to a doctor’s office and plunge a needle into your arm,” Dershowitz continued.
“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.”
“That’s what a democracy is about,” Dershowitz argued. “If the majority of the people agree and support that, for public health measures, you have to be vaccinated, you have to be vaccinated.”
Last night, he joined Tucker Carlson to argue the same case, though he did allow for some exceptions:
Rush transcript via Grabien:
>> Tucker: I change the title because I liked that one better. I’m just kidding, I made a mistake. Thank you. You are probably one of the most famous civil libertarians in America and I understand the argument you’re making which is you don’t have the right to endanger other people, you’re right to punch me in the face ends at the tip of my nose. I understand the argument but there is an issue with vaccine, they’re good for populations but in some rare cases, sometimes not that rare, they can hurt people. That is factually true. Does the government still have a right to endanger you by forcing you to take it?
>> If the Supreme Court said yes and if it came to the Supreme Court today they would say yes. It would either be 9-0 or 8-1. It is not as debatable constitutionally. I have a right to draft you and put your life in danger to help the country. The police power of the state is very considerable. But let’s distinguish between the constitutional issue on the one hand, which is settled, and the moral issue on the other hand. I think one can make the plausible argument that nobody should be required to be subject to a dangerous vaccination to help other people. That is a plausible argument. And I think we should continue to debate that. I don’t agree should require people to be given a vaccine unless it is proven very, very safe. Whether it’s injected at the site into could still cause problems but in general, if the vaccine is extremely safe, then the state does have the right — vaccines work on a theory of mass inoculation. You’re not taking it to help yourself. If it were vaccine developed for cancer or heart condition, obviously you and I would have a right to say no, we have the right to die. I believe you have the right to die, but I don’t believe you have the right to be typhoid Mary and spread it. You have an option. You can stay in quarantine. But what you don’t have the right to do is circulate in society without being vaccinated if the vaccine is proven to be very safe. And that could be a matter —
>> Tucker: Proved to be. There is so much lying about vaccines, probably on all sides, but there certainly is lying about vaccines because public health authorities don’t want people — they want people to take them and I get it. People are nervous. Let me ask you, by the same reasoning since we have an effect socialized medicine we are all affected by the health choices are neighbors make, why should we allow people to eat little Debbie snack cakes when we are all paying for diabetes treatment?
>> Well I’ve just written another book about that. It will be out in a month called “Case for liberalism in the age of extremism” in which I have a chapter on that. I say it is not — that argument doesn’t work. You have to just say, you can never make somebody do something only for their own good. Even if it has lateral impacts. No man is an island, we know that. In the world in which we live if you get fat and get sick, we pay for that. But the spread of this highly contagious illness is enough for a civil libertarian, but I want to have a rule of reason. I don’t believe in shutting down the whole society or putting people in jail for not wearing masks. If the vaccine is very effective and very safe, I would start, by the way, with having people volunteer first. It wouldn’t compel them first but you might get to a point where healthy people, without any risk, considerable risk to themselves, say N, and then if the state decides, they would win in the Supreme Court of the United States. That is my expert prediction of the constitutional lawyer. What I take the vaccine myself? Of course I would. What I require my 10-year-old great grandson to take it? That might be a different issue because they are, the risk may exceed of taking the vaccine, may be arguably exceed the benefit to the child. Because Covid is not particularly dangerous to children. These are issues that should be debated, we should continue to have the debate. Free speech, let’s make sure the anti-factors get to say their thing, but at the end of the month, you vote and I think that if we have a safe vaccine, we all hope we have a vaccine, warp speed is the president term. We have to make sure we don’t compromise safety in the process.
>> Tucker: Free debate as a prerequisite for all of this. And it’s happening now, people with views that are considered apostasy are not allowed to speak. It makes everybody nervous, including me.
>> They must, they are allowed to protest, and they are allowed to protest in a vigorous way. Not in a violent way, but in a vigorous way.
>> Tucker: Pulling people off the Internet because they disagree with them and that means trust nobody. Professor, thank you so much.
>> You have to have right.
>> Tucker: Especially, amen. Thanks.
I share J.J. Sefton’s disappointment in Dershowitz:
Forget for a moment he’s a liberal; here’s a guy who is considered one of the greatest constitutional scholars in American history as well as a supposed champion of that document in the protection of individual rights. For someone like him to make the most basic error in stating we’re a democracy and not a representative republic, then to underscore it by negating his own career by championing majoritarian tyranny is the bitter end. Whatever hope I had in him from his defense of Trump during the Shampeachment show trials has completely evaporated.
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