COVID’S Constitutional Conundrum Assessing Individual Rights in Public Health Emergencies
Hodge, J., Piatt, J., Reinke, H., and Carey, E. (2021). COVID’S Constitutional Conundrum: Assessing Individual Rights in Public Health Emergencies. Tennessee Law Review. 88(1).
The authors reviewed litigation related to public health measures enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic and found that courts primarily assess these claims under two approaches: weighing the "application of rights against governments’ compelling interests to protect public health and safety in emergencies" and setting "aside existing rights to effectuate emergency responses." The authors believe neither approach suffices and suggest that courts focus on "public health interventions as a constitutional prerogative instead of examining alleged rights infringements framed outside crisis contexts."