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Jacobson v. Massachusetts - Significance, Compulsory Vaccination Lawful, Court Defers To Legislature, Exemption For Unfit Adult?, Impact

appellant justices lawyers appellee


Commonwealth of Massachusetts


Henning Jacobson

Appellant's Claim

That a state statute authorizing compulsory vaccination and delegating to a municipality the authority to determine when compulsory vaccination was necessary was constitutional.

Chief Lawyers for Appellant

George Fred Williams and James A. Halloran

Chief Lawyers for Appellee

Frederick H. Nash and Herbert Parker

Justices for the Court

Henry Billings Brown, William Rufus Day, Melville Weston Fuller, John Marshall Harlan II (writing for the Court), Oliver Wendell Holmes, Joseph McKenna, Edward Douglass White

Justices Dissenting

David Josiah Brewer, Rufus Wheeler Peckham


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

20 February 1905


Upheld the constitutionality of the statute, and affirmed defendant's conviction and fine for refusing to be vaccinated.

Related Cases

  • Zucht v. King, 260 U.S. 174 (1922).
  • Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927).
  • Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158 (1944).
  • Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965).
  • Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973).
  • Cruzan v. Director, MDH, 497 U.S. 261 (1990).
  • Washington v. Glucksberg, 512 U.S. 702 (1997).


Centers for Disease Control (CDC). http://www.cdc.gov

Joe Hill Trial: 1914 - Circumstantial Evidence But No Motive, Suggestions For Further Reading [next] [back] In re Neagle - Significance, The Seeds Of Vengeance, Murder Or Duty?, The "peace Of The United States"

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