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the Case

2021-2022 Case problem

In the hypothetical reality of this year's case problem, partially inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States received notice of a polio outbreak with the potential to evolve into another devastating pandemic. Shaken by the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States government implemented a nationwide polio vaccine mandate. William DeNolf, described as a recluse who rarely leaves his home, refused to take the vaccine, sparking a legal battle between himself and the United States.

Did Congress exceeded its authority under the Commerce Clause when it enacted the Polio Vaccine Act authorizing the President to order compulsory polio vaccinations? Did the President’s mandatory vaccine order violate Petitioner’s rights to liberty and privacy protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment, including whether Jacobson v. Massachusetts should be revisited? Read the case problem below and decide for yourself as you write your arguments for the petitioner (DeNolf) and respondent (United States). Remember, your argument should only address one issue (Commerce Clause or Due Process Clause).

Case problem

Issue one case law

  • Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942)

  • Heart of Atlanta Motel Inc. v. United States, 379 U.S. 241 (1964) U.S. 241 (1964)

  • Perez v. United States, 402 U.S. 146 (1971)

  • United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549 (1995)

  • United States v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598 (2000)

  • Jones v. United States, 529 US 848 (2000)

  • Gonzales v. Raich, 545 U.S. 1 (2005)

  • National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, 567 U.S. 519 (2012)

Issue two case law

  • Jacobson v Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905)

  • Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927)

  • Rochin v. California, 342 U.S. 165 (1952)

  • Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965)

  • Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Dept. of Health, 497 U.S. 261 (1990)

  • Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992)

  • Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702 (1997)

  • Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 55 (2003)

  • Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. 644 (2015)

  • Raich v. Gonzales, 500 F.3d 850 (9th Cir. 2007)