Jacobson v. Massachusetts

United States Supreme Court197 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.

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