The Rollback of Public Health Emergency Powers and a New Model Law


Rob Gatter

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The COVID-19 pandemic caused governors to use executive branch public health powers to an unprecedented degree. A combination of public weariness with the pandemic, frustration with executive actions designed to mitigate the community effects of COVID, and ongoing anti-government sentiment has resulted in judicial and legislative actions that have eliminated fundamental executive power to protect public health during an emergency. To assure that all states are prepared for future public health emergencies, the Uniform Law Commission is drafting a model public health emergency authorities law. Rob Gatter is helping to lead this drafting project and will describe the draft model law.

Speaker Bio

Rob Gatter is a Professor of Law and the Director of the Center for Health Law Studies at Saint Louis University. He is an author of the casebook "Health Law: Cases, Materials and Problems," which is now in its ninth edition. Gatter's scholarship and service is focused on law and policy affecting infectious disease threats. He has published a dozen articles related to novel influenza, Ebola, and COVID policy and presented on those topics at a variety of academic, professional, and community organizations. He served on the COVID task force of St. Louis County, and he is currently the Reporter to a Uniform Law Commission committee drafting a model state public health emergency authorities statute.


Moot Courtroom (A59)

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