Constitutional Scholar Rob Natelson on Vaccination Mandates
Constitutional scholar Rob Natelson with the Independence Institute in Denver appeared on Monday’s Talk Back show and answered several questions from listeners about vaccine mandates, both by government and private businesses.
Natelson referenced a U.S. Supreme Court decision back in the 1820’s.
“There's a very famous case called Gibbons vs Ogden decided by Chief Justice Marshall in 1824, in which he specifically talks about health laws; he's thinking of health inspection and things like vaccination laws are exclusively matters of state concern,” said Natelson. “So my own view of the federal vaccination mandate is that it's illegitimate and it should be resisted by every nonviolent means possible.”
Natelson mentioned another U.S. Supreme Court case that referenced not COVID 19, but smallpox.
“The Jacobsen case involved smallpox, which is a disease which kills about one out of every three people who get it,” he said. “Furthermore, smallpox is an equal opportunity killer, it kills old and young. And thirdly, as the court very strongly pointed out in the Jacobson case, by 1905, they had had 100 years of experience with the smallpox vaccine. They knew what worked and they knew the side effects were minimal. Obviously all those facts are different with COVID.”
Natelson said the typical COVID vaccination argument that all must submit for the public good smacks of authoritarianism.
“It's a famous cry of dictators that they're doing whatever they're doing because of the public interest,” he said. “What is notable about America is we allow people to make their own choices about matters, whether we think the choices are right or wrong. I mean, after all, none of us should be so arrogant as to assume that our decisions for ourselves are for the right for everybody. And we certainly shouldn't assume that they should be imposed by government power.”
In a different conversation, Natelson was asked about the massive federal deficits that have been run up by various administrations over the last few decades.
“In 1936 and 1937, the Supreme Court issued three separate cases in which the court said we're not going to monitor federal spending anymore to ensure that it's within constitutional limits,” he said. “They get away with it because the Supreme Court has said, ‘hey, look, if Congress thinks if it's for the general welfare, that we're going to let it go’, and by the way, for those of you who think that the Supreme Court is, ‘conservative’, the only justice who has taken a firm stand against that position is Justice Clarence Thomas.”
Natelson is the author of ‘The Original Constitution; What it actually Said and Meant’, and is a weekly contributor to the online news website The Epoch Times.