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SideBar Podcast Welcomes Law Professor and Public Health Expert Wendy Parmet

Law Professor Wendy Parmet

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Law Professor Wendy Parmet explains how the COVID pandemic exposed weaknesses in our public health system and the lack of trust in science and government.

The idea that we should protect one another from contagion was just expected for over 100 years . . . that idea has changed . . . at least in the opinion of the current Supreme Court.”
— Law Professor Wendy Parmet
MONTEREY, CA, UNITED STATES, November 6, 2023 / -- SideBar podcast on The Legal Talk Network welcomes Northeastern University Law Professor Wendy Parmet, the Faculty Director of the University's Center for Health Policy and Law and author of Constitutional Contagion: Covid, the Courts and Public Health.

Cohost and Law Dean Jackie Gardina explained, “The COVID pandemic exposed weaknesses in our public health system and exposed the lack of trust in science and government. Professor Parmet is able to help us better understand the change in the Supreme Court’s interpretation of public health law that had the effect of overturning 100+ years of public protection by granting religious ideology priority over science."

Law Dean Mitch Winick, cohost of SideBar, noted that “we can go back to 1905 in the US Supreme Court case of Jacobson v Massachusetts in which the Supreme Court upheld the government’s right to require vaccinations during a smallpox epidemic. This was the controlling law for over 100 years until recently. One of the questions being discussed in this episode of SideBar is whether the apparent religious ideology of the current Supreme Court is influencing their legal rulings when deciding between public health protection vs. individual religious beliefs.”

Professor Parmet is a leading scholar on how the courts have influenced public health in this country. She is a legal expert on health, disability and public health law and directs Northeastern University’s Center for Health Policy and Law. She also holds a joint appointment with the University’s School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs in recognition of her national leadership in interdisciplinary thinking and problem-solving on issues related to public health.

To listen to Professor Parmet’s SideBar episode with law deans Jackie Gardina and Mitch Winick, hear previous episodes, read our blog, learn about future guests, and to contact the co-hosts with ideas, comments, or questions, go to

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