Notwithstanding decades of precedent — since the New Deal cases of the 1940s and the Civil Rights decisions of the 1960s holding that the federal government has broad power over public health and safety — courts in the very red states are finding “liberty” not in the rights of women to control their bodies but in the rights of men to avoid a vaccine that can save their lives and those of others.
Since when has selfishness become a constitutional right?
It is hard to think of any precept, any set of values, more basic than that which calls on all of us to live by the Golden Rule: to treat each other as we would want to be treated if none of us knew where we would find ourselves in the pecking order. We would want to be treated fairly, as if we were the ones, or our children were, who were immunocompromised.
That is what it means to be part of a community. Infections don’t respect state lines or geographic borders. Our fates are tied together.
It is not the job of the judge to substitute her judgment as to the best policy for that of the legislature or the governor or the president. It is her job to enforce the law, which is to say, to let the policymakers do their jobs.