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 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 feature public health law experts from around the country 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 for more information.
Series Two Briefings
- Assessing the Federal Response to the Pandemic and What Should Happen Next (Nov. 10, 2020) – Playback: YouTube
- Supreme Court Hears Arguments on the Affordable Care Act (Nov. 12, 2020) – Playback: Podcast / YouTube
- Should (and Could) the Federal Government Call for a Mask Mandate? (Nov. 17) – Playback: YouTube
Series One Briefings (March 31, 2020–June 11, 2020)
- Implications on the US prison system (March 31, 2020) – Playback: Twitter / Podcast
- Commandeering private property in public health emergencies (March 31, 2020) – Playback: Twitter / Podcast
- Legality of and Challenges to Rationing Medical Resources (April 2, 2020) – Playback: Twitter / Podcast
- Challenges of Medical Resources Rationing on People with Disabilities (April 2, 2020) – Playback: Twitter / Podcast
- Issues and Boundaries of Federalism (April 7, 2020) – Playback: Twitter / Podcast
- HIPAA Privacy Waivers (April 8, 2020) – Playback: Twitter
- Protecting the Vulnerable Substance Use Disorder Population during COVID-19 (April 8, 2020) – Playback: Twitter / Podcast
- Travel Restrictions and Cordon Sanitaire (April 14, 2020) – Playback: Twitter / Podcast
- Drug Development, FDA Power, and Emergency Use (April 15, 2020) – Playback: Twitter / Podcast
- Medicaid and the ACA (April 16, 2020) – Playback: Twitter / Podcast
- Eviction and COVID-19 (April 21, 2020) – Playback: Twitter / Podcast
- "The Laws of Unlocking" (April 22, 2020) – Playback: Twitter / Podcast
- Abortion Exceptionalism (April 23, 2020) – Playback: Twitter / Podcast
- Immigration (April 28, 2020) – Playback: Twitter / Podcast
- Race and Bias in COVID-19 Care and Response (April 29, 2020) – Playback: Twitter / Podcast
- Surveillance (April 30, 2020) – Playback: Twitter / Podcast
- Transmission Criminalization (May 5, 2020) – Playback: Twitter / Podcast
- Human Subject Research (May 6, 2020) – Playback: Twitter / Podcast
- Liability Shields (May 7, 2020) – Playback: Twitter / Podcast
- Election Law (May 12, 2020) – Playback: Twitter / Podcast
- Food Supply Chain and Shortages (May 13, 2020) – Playback: Twitter / Podcast
- Workplace Safety (May 14, 2020) – Playback: Twitter
- The Wisconsin Opinion (May 19, 2020) – Playback: YouTube
- Preemption (May 21, 2020) – Playback: YouTube
- Vulnerable Workers (May 26, 2020) – Playback: YouTube
- Religious Freedom Restoration Act (May 28, 2020) – Playback: YouTube
- Equitable Enforcement (June 2, 2020) – Playback: YouTube
- Law and Political Economy (June 4, 2020) – Playback: YouTube
- Domestic Violence (June 9, 2020) – Playback: YouTube
- Trends, Take-Aways, and Things to Think About (June 11, 2020) – Playback: YouTube
- 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
- 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
- Scott Burris on Federal and State Powers During Health Emergencies. C-SPAN Washington Journal, April 6, 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.
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