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Debate with Country’s Leading Constitutional Law Scholar
Seeking to persuade the most influential constitutional scholar of our day that, at the least, mandates of drugs that do not prevent infection and transmission should be unconstitutional.
Erwin Chemerinsky is the current Dean of Berkeley Law School (where I attended law school) and considered by many measures the country’s leading constitutional scholar. I used his constitutional textbook in law school and still have his constitutional treatise in my office!
When a group of students at one of Berkeley’s medical schools objected to its Covid-19 mandate, the school asked Dean Chemerinsky to give them a talk about the legality of this mandate. Instead of just a lecture, the students asked to invite someone to debate the Dean, and they reached out to me for that role. I agreed – it was a bucket list item I didn’t even know I had.
While those who follow me know that I think all vaccine mandates are unconstitutional (and immoral and unethical), my goal was to persuade the Dean that at least in a situation where a drug does not prevent infection and transmission, mandating it would be unconstitutional. Because otherwise, there is no drug the government could not constitutionally mandate.
The debate was held on May 31, 2022, and during the debate I pressed that point, genuinely hoping to get the Dean to think about the implications of permitting the government to mandate a drug that is meant for personal protection. As a tried-and-true attorney, I did not expect him to give ground during the debate but hoped he would give it serious thought after the debate. That it would influence his thinking.
You can now, in fact, judge for yourself if you think that occurred because I was recently provided a copy of this debate. It was provided to me by a student who helped organize the debate and he told me that a copy of this debate was supposed to be distributed in the school’s digital newsletter. However, despite follow-up requests over many months, it was never distributed. Rather, this student was able to directly obtain a copy of the video and has now shared it with me, and I am sharing it with you. Enjoy.