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COVID Vaccine Mandates — Lawful or Not?

by Cindy Cromwell,

Willamette Law's Center for Constitutional Government will host a panel discussion on the constitutionality of COVID vaccine mandates. The panel, which will take place on November 1 at the College of Law, will bring together legal experts in constitutional law who have represented both sides of the debate. 

Norman Williams
Norman Williams

The event's goal is to present the contrasting legal arguments regarding the validity of COVID vaccine mandates, both for students, government employees, and the public generally. Are they legal, or does one's right to bodily autonomy trump the public health interest in requiring vaccination? "The Center for Constitutional Government sponsors thoughtful and informative events regarding salient, contemporary questions of constitutional law," said Norman Williams, the Ken and Claudia Peterson Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Constitutional Government. 

The discussion is expected to tackle questions of whether the government can require students to receive the vaccine? Government Employees? The public generally? And if so, what does that say regarding the constitutional right to bodily autonomy, as recognized in Roe v. Wade? 

Michael Kron
Michael Kron

Michael Kron, Special Counsel to AG Rosenblum from the Oregon Department of Justice, will argue the pro-validity side, and attorney Jenin Younes, Litigation Counsel for the New Civil Liberties Alliance, will give the anti-mandate perspective. Kron has worked on numerous legal issues related to the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic since the spring of 2020. Younes has successfully challenged several COVID vaccine mandates adopted in other states. 

Jenin Younes
Jenin Younes

"The Center is a non-partisan institute that brings speakers with different viewpoints together to discuss the headline-generating issues of our day," says Williams who will moderate the discussion which will be followed by a question and answer session from members of the audience.

The event is part of the Ken Peterson lecture series, made possible by the Ken and Claudia Peterson Foundation. The Petersons endowed the lecture series to give attorneys, judges and students access to cutting-edge legal scholars. 

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