Fox News host Tucker Carlson brought renowned constitutional scholar Alan Dershowitz on Wednesday night’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” to discuss the civil liberty implications surrounding a possible mandatory vaccination for coronavirus once one is developed.
Carlson set up the segment by playing a recent YouTube interview in which Dershowitz insisted that citizens have “no constitutional right” to refuse to be vaccinated.
“I understand the argument that you’re making, which is you don’t have the right to endanger other people, your right to punch ends with the tip of my nose,” Carlson told Dershowitz. “I understand the argument, but there is also in the specific case of a vaccine a risk to the individual taking it because vaccines are good for populations, but in some rare cases, sometimes not that rare, they can hurt people. That is factually true. Does the government still have a right to endanger you by forcing you to take it?”
Dershowitz appealed to Supreme Court rulings that would “constitutionally” win the debate before saying, “The police power of state is very considerable.”
Going from the “constitutional issue” to the “moral issue,” the Harvard Law School professor agreed that “one can make the plausible argument that nobody should be required to be subject to a dangerous vaccination to help other people.” (RELATED: STUDY: Almost One-Third Of Americans May Consider Refusing Coronavirus Vaccine)
“But in general, if the vaccine is extremely safe, then the state does have a right to compel you to take it,” he said, explaining that “vaccines work on a theory of mass inoculation” and are taken to protect others. “I believe you have the right to die, but I don’t believe you have the right to be typhoid Mary and spread it. If you don’t want to take the vaccine you have an option. You can stay in quarantine.”
Appealing to a “rule of reason,” Dershowitz speculated that he would have “people volunteer first,” then only make it mandatory if enough people didn’t comply. He also added that while he himself would happily take it, he might not give his grandson the vaccine since “COVID is not particularly dangerous to children.”
The discussion ended with both agreeing that speech and debate should be free, vigorous, and unimpeded.