GC professor defends constitutionality of Biden’s vaccine mandate


Isabellea van der Lende

President Biden has received nationwide disapproval and backlash regarding his vaccine mandate. However, one GC professor found that this mandate is most likely constitutional. Nicholas Creel, an assistant professor of business law at GC, recently published an article in the Savannah Morning News. He discussed law-making powers, and how it applies to vaccination mandates.

In his article, “Why Biden’s vaccine mandate is probably constitutional,” Creel combatted the idea that a vaccine mandate under President Biden would be unconstitutional.

Creel explained his initial interest in writing this piece was inspired by his friend’s confusion on how Biden could institute a legally binding vaccine mandate.

According to Creel’s article, the Executive branch of government can create new laws. This is how President Biden could pass a vaccine mandate. However, Biden is not allowed to single-handedly enforce a law. Both Congress and the judicial branch are involved when it comes to passing a statutory law. These laws are highly regimented. It is nearly impossible for the President to pass an unconstitutional law.

“I would not necessarily agree with it,” said Adam Lamparello, assistant professor of criminal justice at GC. “Whether a vaccine mandate is constitutional depends on different factors if we’re talking about a state requiring its residents to get a vaccine, that is constitutional.”

Lamparello further explained that this mandate is constitutional under the 10th Amendment and Supreme Court case Jacobson v. Massachusetts of 1905. The case ruled in favor of the state. It gave them the right to mandate vaccines and fine those who refuse.

“States have the plenary right to address the health safety and welfare of its citizens,” Lamparello said.

“I think a vaccine mandate at the federal level is likely to occur within the next, probably, two months, but it’ll be a lot more limited than people probably think. It will only apply to businesses that have 100 or more employees,” stated Creel.

However, Lamparello believes, at a federal level, it is a more complex issue,” and a federal vaccine mandate would likely be unconstitutional.

While neither GC nor USG has made any statements as to whether there will be a vaccine mandate for those on campus, they have continuously encouraged students and staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine.   They have assured that the vaccination is safe.

GC has been offering the Moderna vaccine to any student or staff member through Student Health Services. To encourage faculty, staff, and students of GC, an incentive of $100 cat cash was announced earlier this year.

“I think it’s hard to say if vaccine mandates would be a good idea,” said Abigail Carson, sophomore mass communication major “There’s a lot of factors that play into it.”

“Personally, I think GC should require the vaccine,” said Lou Seay, freshman mass communication major. “It’s the best way to fight the pandemic.”

Vaccines, and especially vaccine mandates, have become a controversial issue around the country. It seems that even experts in the law also have some reservations amongst each other on whether this could be a possibility.

Politicians continue to fight in both directions to either push vaccine mandates or prohibit them.

On Sept. 9, Gov. Brian Kemp tweeted in response to the Biden administration’s vaccine mandates. “I will pursue every legal option available to the state of Georgia to stop this blatantly unlawful overreach by the Biden administration,” said Kemp.

In a separate tweet, Gov. Kemp said, “Georgia job creators can’t afford Biden’s vaccine mandate or the ridiculous fines his administration is threatening.”