The courts will most likely uphold states' decisions to require vaccine passports, but nobody can be certain because "we've never had a situation like this before," Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz said on Newsmax TV Saturday.
"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 added that he thinks he has a right to know before he engages with another person if that individual has had a vaccination, and he suspects "the courts would so hold, but nobody can be absolutely certain."
Mandating a vaccine passport does not mean the courts would rule in mandating the COVID-19 vaccine itself, he added.
"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."
But when asked if it would deny people their rights if they were barred from certain places unless they had a vaccine passport, such as in a grocery store, Dershowitz responded that store owner also have their right to liberty.
"It's complicated," he said, adding that now that the Supreme Court leans conservative, it could change other rulings, but nobody knows for sure.
"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. 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."
Dershowitz said he doesn't like the idea of segregation, and that includes dividing people by who have been vaccinated and who have not.
"It just doesn't seem right," said Dershowitz. "On the other hand, I understand why I would want to go into the section that has only vaccinated people. That's the way I'm living my l life right now, only going to stores and areas where I'm confident that people have been vaccinated. Other people want to make other choices. That's part of liberty as well."
The science, he continued, is still not clear, but people have the right to err on the side of caution, or on not being cautious when it comes to COVID.
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Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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