By Jennifer S. Bard
Law can be a wonderful tool for promoting and protecting the public’s health. But its inherent bias towards stability is poorly suited to the challenges of addressing rapidly evolving public health crises.
Two current examples — the ongoing opioid overdose crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic — illustrate the issue starkly.
In both cases, the measures needed to address these two serious crises are hampered by one of the core weaknesses of the U.S. legal system when it comes to addressing serious, ongoing public health crises: there is no mechanism to make swift, responsive adjustments to the law in the face of changing information.