Zywicki vs Wade

by John Q on August 6, 2021

Back in the day, we at Crooked Timber had fairly regular exchanges with Todd Zywicki of the Volokh conspiracy group blog (which still exists, now hosted by Reason.com). So, I was interested to learn that he was taking his employer, George Mason University, to court over a requirement to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

The factual part of Zywicki’s case is that having had the disease and recovered he is already immune. More interesting is the claim that the requirement violates his right to privacy under the 9th and 14th Amendments to the US Constitutional. I Am Not A Lawyer, but this claim seems almost identical to that used in Roe v Wade, which seems certain to come before the Supreme Court soon. However, Zywicki’s brief does not mention what seems like the most relevant precedent.

My guess is that finding a majority willing to both reaffirm a constitutional right to privacy and second-guess the authorities on pandemic protection will prove too difficult. However, as Zywicki is asking for urgent relief we should find out soon.