They have decided, and that decision has been upheld over and over and over again for 116 years!
The Surprisingly Strong Supreme Court Precedent Supporting Vaccine MandatesNow you know why temporary mandates are ordinary in times of extraordinary nature, ie., during pandemics.
The year was 1904, and when his politically charged legal challenge to the $5 fine for failing to get vaccinated made its way to the Supreme Court, the justices had a surprise for Rev. Jacobson. One man's liberty, they declared in a 7-2 ruling handed down the following February, cannot deprive his neighbors of their own liberty " in this case by allowing the spread of disease. Jacobson, they ruled, must abide by the order of the Cambridge board of health or pay the penalty.
"There are manifold restraints to which every person is necessarily subject for the common good," read the majority opinion. "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. ... 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."
Jacobson's claim was essentially the same as that taken for granted by vaccine skeptics today: That they have the personal liberty under the U.S. Constitution to decide for themselves whether to take the shot. Backed by a group called The Anti-Vaccination Society, Jacobson made a formidable case, incorporating many of the same arguments about freedom from government interference that are ricocheting around cable TV this summer, and mouthed by politicians.
The Jacobson holding suggests that other people, from co-workers to classmates to neighbors, have a corresponding liberty interest in being free from infectious disease. Like those who inhale passive smoke, they, too, are affected by a decision that others deem a matter of personal choice.
And the court's ruling makes clear that a community in danger has every right.