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Jacobson v. Massachusetts
United States Supreme Court
197 U.S. 11 (1905)
Jacobson (plaintiff) sued the State of Massachusetts (defendant) alleging that a state law authorizing cities to require citizens to be vaccinated against smallpox exceeded the state’s power. The city of Cambridge adopted such a regulation requiring a resident to undergo vaccination or be fined $5. Jacobson was unsuccessful in state court in his claim that the statute requiring mandatory vaccination was unconstitutional and violated his liberty. He appealed to the Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Harlan, J.)
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