February 3, 2015
The case is rather more nuanced and announces compelling authority for Federal Court intervention in vaccination matters. While giving due deference to the State authorities, the Supreme Court reserved for the Federal Courts the right to intervene in matters where health and life may be at stake: “…if it be apparent or can be shown with reasonable certainty that he is not at the time a fit subject of vaccination or that vaccination, by reason of his then condition, would seriously impair his health or probably cause his death.”
While Jacobson did not prevail in the Supreme Court, it is to be noted that he never alleged harm or peril of harm; he only alleged that the mandating of the emergency influenza vaccination was ultra vires the state’s authority and the $5.00 fine imposed was unconstitutional. Jacobson was never actually forced to be vaccinated and history shows us that the $5.00 fine was later vacated. Furthermore, the case was decided before the comprehensive Federal pre-emption of drug approval that is now embodied in the laws empowering the FDA.