Vaccine Passports Are A Serious Threat To American Civil Liberties By Harmeet K. Dhillon for The Federalist
Are Americans supposed to accept that the government, private employers, and businesses such as airlines and Costco may stop you and demand that you show your COVID-19 papers?
With the advent of the deceptively named “vaccine passport” concept, coronavirus vaccines have quickly turned from savior hailed by an American populace desperate for a return to some semblance of normalcy into a cudgel with which to beat the vaccine heterodox into submission. Add the relentless desire for Big Tech to collect all data it can suck into a rapacious corporate maw to be digested into more profits and more power over our lives, and you have a perfect storm of tyranny.
Currently, the COVID-19 vaccines are not U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved, but authorized only for emergency use. As an investigational product, the statute governing emergency use authorizations provides that the recipient be advised of his or her option to accept or refuse administration of the vaccine, something a DC District court considered in a 2003 case that ruled against forcing soldiers to take the then-experimental anthrax vaccine (suspiciously, the vaccine was deemed “safe” not long after the court enjoined mandatory vaccination, although there are numerous claims that the anthrax vaccination program has led to debilitating side effects).
President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed vaccine development program was unprecedented. It normally takes several years for FDA approval of a vaccine and several phases like an exploratory stage, clinical trials, and quality control. While many are comfortable taking the vaccine now, others may wish to wait, or decline altogether.
Some had the disease and survived it with antibodies. Some have physical limitations that do not allow inoculation, and others have religious and moral objections. For example, the Johnson and Johnson vaccine was developed using a retinal cell line developed from an electively aborted fetus in 1985.
A Right to Be Left Alone
We have a constitutionally implied fundamental right to privacy; various guarantees in the Bill of Rights “have penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance…creat[ing] “zones of privacy.” Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 484 (1965). The right to privacy encompasses everything from what we do in the privacy of our own bedrooms, to how we educate our children, and to what we choose to insert into our bodies.
The right to privacy also incorporates a right to be left alone, a concept dating as far back as an 1890 Harvard Law Review Article by Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis, in which they noted that our laws are universal and eternal, “grow[ing] to meet the new demands of society.” As time passed, “[g]radually the scope of  legal rights broadened; and now the right to life has come to mean the right to enjoy life, — the right to be let alone; the right to liberty secures the exercise of extensive civil privileges…”