3263 – How Covid Legal Cases Serviced Corporate Assault On The Regulatory State w/ Wendy Parmet

Happy Monday! Sam speaks with Wendy Parmet, professor of law, public policy, and urban affairs at Northeastern University, to discuss her recent book Constitutional Contagion: COVID, the Courts, and Public Health. First, Sam runs through updates on the continued expansion of Israel’s war on Gaza, Israel and Co.’s response to the ICJ ruling by cutting funding to UN Aid groups, the Senate immigration deal, the impeachment of Secretary Mayorkas, Donald Trump’s rape case, and Texas’ secession, before parsing through Nancy Pelosi’s recent allegations that pro-Palestine protesters are just Putin-paid propagandists. Wendy Parmet then joins, diving right into the concept of public health policy, how policymakers assess the impact of their work on broader populations, and the concept of Salus populi suprema lex. Stepping back, Professor Parmet walks Sam through the factors that influence US public health policy, and how those have evolved over the last couple of centuries, first looking to the 19th Century US’s defining element of the institution of slavery, before parsing through the public health policy from vaccine mandates to sanitary measures and food quality regulations that thrived on the state and local levels, and the overwhelming belief in the superiority of common (white) welfare to individual rights. Moving into the 1900s, Parmet explores the decision of Jacobson v. Massachusetts which affirmed the state’s right to mandate vaccinations under criminal consequences, how the era’s rampant epidemics influenced the decision, and looks to the impact of WW2 and the New Deal on the understanding of rights, before tackling the evolution of individual, corporate, and religious rights’ supremacy over regulation during the second half of the century. Wendy and Sam then expand on this as they move into the 21st Century, tackling the mass politicization of the courts, the emergence of the Federalist Society, the Roberts Court’s belief in individualism, and the culmination of the GOP’s attack on the administrative state, assessing how these elements served to undermine and gut the state of US public health, coming to a head with the COVID-19 pandemic. Wrapping up, Professor Parmet tackles the current moment in US public health, and the impact of the recent decimation of the US public health system on our already fraying social contract. And in the Fun Half: Sam admires the GOP disarray caused by Biden completely capitulating to their immigration policy, talks with Ashley from Vermont about the aptly named IRS leaker Charles Littlejohn, Katrina from NoLa discusses being doxxed by Congresspeople (specifically, Majorie Taylor Greene), and Sean from Washington highlights the pro-Palestinian organizing going on in the NEA and AFT. Sam also highlights the insanity of the GOP going all-in on this bogus Texas secession schtick, Matt from South Texas discusses Texas, and Greta from Upstate NY explores the problems of voting for Biden. Matt Schlapp ponders the horrors of a world where he’s held accountable, plus, your calls and IMs!

Check out Wendy’s book here: https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/constitutional-contagion/6BF9D06349549B35507967DEDB252301

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