Gavel lying in a courtroom.

Improving the Future of Public Health by Applauding Appropriate Judicial Oversight

By Marshall B. Kapp

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Public Health Establishment (PHE)/legal enterprise collaborative fell short of constitutional standards in a number of situations, resulting in adverse judicial rulings of which the PHE and its like-minded academic advocates now complain.

This unhappiness with judicial oversight is an opportunity for introspection. Rather than blaming nefarious or deplorable other forces, a better approach to rehabilitating and enhancing public health law in the future lies instead in the PHE taking stock of itself and committing to a more open-minded, humility infused, and objective approach to the definition of science, the role of expertise, and the better targeted and clearly justified employment of legal force in the next major public health emergency context.

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