As the world continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Center for Public Health Law Research provides guidance on current legal problems and evidence-based strategies to overcome them in a fair and effective way. We will maintain this page throughout the ongoing pandemic.
Evidence and Research
- COVID-19: State Emergency Declarations & Mitigation Policies – This longitudinal dataset on LawAtlas.org captures state executive orders, laws, and policies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, enacted between January 20, 2020 and July 1, 2020, that are intended to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
- Legal Research Resources – At LawAtlas.org we are cataloging legal research tracking emergency declarations, mitigation policies, and other topic-specific resources available at every jurisdictional level.
This report, released in March 2021, offers policy recommendations on 35 wide-ranging topics, from 50 top legal experts, from pandemic preparedness and expanding health care to conducting sound elections and adapting immigration policy. Designed to advise leaders at the federal, state and local level, the report presents a timely examination of policy challenges and opportunities in light of the pandemic. This report is produced by Temple Center for Public Health Law Research, Center for Health Policy and Law, Northeastern University School of Law, Public Health Law Watch, Wayne State University, Indiana University, The Network for Public Health Law and ChangeLab Solutions. This work is sponsored by the American Public Health Association and the de Beaumont Foundation.
This report, released in August 2020, offers more than 100 policy recommendations on 35 wide-ranging topics from 50 national experts, from pandemic preparedness and health care to conducting sound elections and adapting immigration policy. Designed to advise leaders at the federal, state and local level, the report presents a timely examination of policy challenges and opportunities in light of the pandemic. The report provides critical legal analysis and recommendations, rooted in empirical evidence and expert assessment. Each author discusses how the law has been used, misused or under-used in the response to COVID-19. The report addresses not only legal doctrine, but also matters of implementation, including both strategies and resources for policymakers. As the impact of the pandemic and government responses continue to unfold, the report raises important questions about the efficacy of efforts to contain COVID-19 and to maintain human and civil rights, equity and ethics ‒ while offering innovative and research-driven policy solutions. The report is produced by Temple Center for Public Health Law Research, Center for Health Policy and Law, Northeastern University School of Law, Public Health Law Watch, Wayne State University, Indiana University, The Network for Public Health Law and ChangeLab Solutions. This work is sponsored by the American Public Health Association, the de Beaumont Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The COVID-19 Law and Policy Briefings, hosted in two series from March 2020 through July 2021, feature US and international public health law experts discussing the biggest legal issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The briefings are produced by the George Consortium, co-sponsored by the Center for Health Policy and Law at Northeastern University School of Law, the Center for Public Health Law Research at Temple University Beasley School of Law, and the APHA Law Section. Visit Public Health Law Watch to watch episodes.
Commentary and Analysis
- Legal Regulations Of Certain Issues Related To Vaccination. Report from the International and Comparative Law Research Center (Russia). July 31, 2021
- COVID-19 – Test For The World's Legal Systems. Report from the International and Comparative Law Research Center (Russia). July 31, 2021
- Individual Liberty, Public Health, And The Battle For The Nation’s Soul. The Regulatory Review. June 7, 2021
- The Legal Epidemiology of Pandemic Control. New England Journal of Medicine. May 27, 2021
- COVID-19: The Promise and Failure of Law in an Equitable Nation. American Journal of Public Health, December 16, 2020
- The Mess in Texas: Litigating COVID-19 Abortion Restrictions. Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters Blog, May 18, 2020
- Social Justice in COVID-19 Response: The Legal Issues We Have to Talk About. Bill of Health blog, April 9, 2020
- Preemption, Paid Leave and the Health of America. Bill of Health blog, March 16, 2020
Open Letter to the US Government
- Open Letter – More than 800 public health, human rights, and legal experts and organizations signed an open letter to Vice President Mike Pence and other government officials about steps to achieving an equitable and effective response to COVID-19.
Select Media Contributions
- Parents, including a top Pa. Republican, are suing over the school mask mandate. Here’s what to know about the cases. The Philadelphia Inquirer. September 16, 2021
- Biden steps into legal fight with vaccine mandates. The Hill. September 12, 2021
- 'New York vaccine mandate could destroy my restaurant'. BBC News. August 17, 2021
- In New York City, impending vaccination rules prompt concern. Associated Press. August 6, 2021
- Biden vaccine rule sets stage for onslaught of lawsuits. The Hill. August 3, 2021
- Can schools punish students who break COVID-19 rules on spring break? Maybe. Herald Times Reporter (Florida). March 25, 2021
- How Biden can fix the COVID-19 response while we wait for the vaccine. The Hill. November 19, 2020
- Legal Experts Blast US Response to COVID-19. MedPage Today. August 18, 2020
- US Lockdown Protests Fueled by Distrust of Government, Experts. Courthouse News Service. May 15, 2020
- COVID-19 Abortion Bans Could Have Alarming Effects Far Beyond This Crisis. Newsweek. May 13, 2020
- Covid-19 checkpoints targeting out-of-state residents draw complaints and legal scrutiny. Washington Post. April 14, 2020
- Scott Burris on Federal and State Powers During Health Emergencies. C-SPAN Washington Journal, April 6, 2020
- Can the Feds Close State Borders to Stop COVID-19. How Stuff Works. March 30, 2020
- Social distancing and the limits of the law. WHYY Here & Now, March 17, 2020
- Uncle Sam v. the coronavirus. The Economist, March 12, 2020
- The US has a 'Plan' to Fight Coronavirus: You. WIRED, March 5, 2020
- Five Ways Public Health Officials Should Respond to Coronavirus. Philadelphia Inquirer, March 5, 2020
- So you’ve been asked to self-quarantine. Here’s what you should know. Washington Post, March 9, 2020.
If you are a member of the media and wish to speak to someone regarding a source for a story, please contact Bethany Saxon at email@example.com.