Medical uncertainty

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The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that federal courts should defer to states when they regulate in areas of medical or scientific uncertainty:[1]

The Court has given state and federal legislatures wide discretion to pass legislation in areas where there is medical and scientific uncertainty. See Kansas v. Hendricks, 521 U.S. 346, 360, n. 3, 117 S. Ct. 2072, 138 L. Ed. 2d 501 (1997); Jones v. United States, 463 U.S. 354, 364-365, n. 13, 370, 103 S. Ct. 3043, 77 L. Ed. 2d 694 (1983); Lambert v. Yellowley, 272 U.S. 581, 597, 47 S. Ct. 210, 71 L. Ed. 422, 5 Ohio Law Abs. 88 (1926); Collins v. Texas, 223 U.S. 288, 297-298, 32 S. Ct. 286, 56 L. Ed. 439 (1912); Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11, 30-31, 25 S. Ct. 358, 49 L. Ed. 643 (1905); see also Stenberg, supra, at 969-972, 120 S. Ct. 2597, 147 L. Ed. 2d 743 (KENNEDY, J., dissenting); Marshall v. United States, 414 U.S. 417, 427, 94 S. Ct. 700, 38 L. Ed. 2d 618 (1974) ("When Congress undertakes to act in areas fraught with medical and scientific uncertainties, legislative options must be especially broad").

References

  1. Gonzales v. Carhart, 127 S. Ct. 1610, 1636 (2007).
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