(USA Features) Harvard law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz speculated Friday that federal courts would uphold so-called COVID-19 “vaccine passports” that may be required by companies and industries in order for people to enter or attend their venues.
“We’re generally a country that doesn’t approve of requiring you to carry your papers,” said Dershowitz on Newsmax TV’s “Saturday Report.”
“On the other hand, the police ask you for identification, for a driver’s license, (and) post-9/11, everybody had to have ID before they could get into buildings, so we don’t know for sure,” he noted further, adding “we’ve never had a situation like this before.”
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The so-called passports that are currently under development are largely based on electronically scanned apps that a vaccinated person carried on their smartphone. But up to now it’s been an open question as to whether or not such mandates are constitutional.
Dershowitz said that while he thinks he has a right to know before he engages with if they’ve been vaccinated, he suspects “the courts would so hold, but nobody can be absolutely certain.”
Permitting vaccine passports, however, does not mean that courts would mandate persons get a vaccine.
“We’re talking about mandating information disclosed to people whether you’ve had the vaccine,” said Dershowitz.
“Perhaps you do have the right not to get that vaccine, but you don’t have the right to keep that information from me, if I choose only to go to places where people are vaccinated, that’s a very different legal matter.”
He also speculated that while individuals can choose to turn down a vaccine, a private business owner or industry are free to implement what they see as health measures to protect their customers.
“It’s complicated,” he said, noting the current conservative makeup of the Supreme Court makes predictions about such passports difficult.
“I do think that individual rights do permit for each of us to make decisions based on full and complete information,” said Dershowitz. “We can make a decision based on the fact that we don’t think (the vaccines) have yet been approved, except for emergencies.
“We can make a decision based on the fact that maybe we have extreme vulnerability. I’m 82 years old. I don’t want to catch COVID at this point, so I’m going to take fewer risks than perhaps a 25-year-old would take,” the famed lawyer continued.
“So I do think information is the key to individual decision making, which is why I think in the end, the courts will uphold the right of store owners first.”