Are Quarantine & Isolation Constitutional?

Point: The US Constitution doesn’t mention quarantine or isolation.
Point: US Constitution, 10th Amendment: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Point: Idaho Law, TITLE 56, PUBLIC ASSISTANCE AND WELFARE, CHAPTER 10, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND WELFARE (7) The director, under rules adopted by the board of health and welfare, shall have the power to impose and enforce orders of isolation and quarantine to protect the public from the spread of infectious or communicable diseases or from contamination from chemical or biological agents, whether naturally occurring or propagated by criminal or terrorist act.
(a) An order of isolation or quarantine issued pursuant to this section shall be a final agency action for purposes of judicial review. However, this shall not prevent the director from reconsidering, amending or withdrawing the order. Judicial review of orders of isolation or quarantine shall be de novo. The court may affirm, reverse or modify the order and shall affirm the order if it appears by a preponderance of the evidence that the order is reasonably necessary to protect the public from a substantial and immediate danger of the spread of an infectious or communicable disease or from contamination by a chemical or biological agent.
(b) If the director has reasonable cause to believe a chemical or biological agent has been released in an identifiable place, including a building or structure, an order of quarantine may be imposed to prevent the movement of persons into or out of that place, for a limited period of time, for the purpose of determining whether a person or persons at that place have been contaminated with a chemical or biological agent which may create a substantial and immediate danger to the public.
(c) Any person who violates an order of isolation or quarantine shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

So, how isn’t it constitutional or legal?

Update: The courts are still upholding it, most recently in Michigan.

© 2020, Tim Boothby. All rights reserved.

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