By the Children’s Health Defense Team
Late last week, our Chairman Robert F. Kennedy Jr., General Counsel Mary Hollard and Rick Jaffe, a highly regarded national health care attorney, filed an injunction lawsuit against the University of California’s recent flu mandate for the entire 510,000 member UC community. The lead plaintiff is Associate Executive Vice Chancellor of the UC Davis Academic Research Department Cindy Kiel. One additional employee and two students are plaintiffs as well.
The stated reason for the flu mandate is to free up hospital beds in case there is a bad flu season, and in case there is a bad COVID-19 second wave, and in case there is a future shortage of hospital beds. As we say in the Complaint, “that is a large number of ‘ifs’ for which to sacrifice the personal freedom and bodily integrity rights” of all these people.
No court in the history of this country has ever approved such a broad adult vaccine mandate for such a collateral, speculative purpose. We are hopeful that the court hearing this case will strike down UC’s order.
Our hope is in no small part based on Jacobson, the Supreme Court’s original precedent on vaccine mandates. Jacobson upheld a city ordinance requiring all residents to get the smallpox vaccine during a smallpox outbreak or pay a $5 fine. However, Jacobson elegantly explained the limits of government action: “if a statute purporting to have been enacted to protect the public health, the public morals, or the public safety, has no real or substantial relation to those objects, or is, beyond all question, a plain, palpable invasion of rights secured by the fundamental law, it is the duty of courts to so adjudge, and thereby give effect to the Constitution.”
The collateral, speculative purpose to free up hospital beds has no real or substantial relation to preventing COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, or deaths. Data from the California Department of Public Health proves that the chances of a hospital bed shortage is somewhere between remote and extremely miniscule. We hope the court will so rule, and are planning to obtain an initial ruling before November 1, 2020, when the mandate would take effect.
If you can, please donate to support our great legal team fighting on behalf of everyone who thinks that the UC system, and other school systems around the country, are trampling on privacy and bodily integrity rights.
Now is the time to stop this, and this is the case to do it.