Always Relevant, Never Hearsay, Sometimes Argumentative. In each episode of Objections, Adam Klasfeld navigates listeners through the top legal stories of the week with experts in a straightforward, analytical and factual manner.
Klasfeld is a senior investigative reporter and editor for Law&Crime. Adam has reported on every corner of the legal system for more than a decade, with datelines from federal courts, state courts, the United Nations, Guantánamo Bay, the Ecuadorean Amazon, and a court-martial inside a military base near NSA headquarters.
For all of the political furor surrounding so-called "vaccine passports," certain countries have long required proof of immunity for tropical diseases, and experts note that the law on the issue is not a close question.
"Are vaccine mandates legal? There are lots of hard questions in the universe of law, but that's not a hard question," University of Pennsylvania law Professor Eric Feldman noted on the latest episode of Law&Crime's podcast "Objections." "That's an easy question," the professor added. "The answer is yes."
The Supreme Court settled that matter in the case of Jacobson v. Massachusetts, affirming penalties against a Swedish-American pastor who resisted a smallpox vaccine back in 1905. That watershed case was over a true mandate: Pastor Henning Jacobson was convicted of refusing the vaccine and forced to pay a $5 fine, but so-called vaccine passports operate differently. They are not compulsory, but such certifications through voluntary programs could make it easier for participants in the program to travel, dine in a restaurant or attend a sporting event.
In this episode, Professor Feldman, from UPenn's Medical Ethics & Health Policy, answers questions about vaccines and the law.