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Kaci Hickox, a nurse, returned to the United States to be quarantined. She believes that under the 14th Amendment quarantine is unconstitutional. Hickox was released before filing her lawsuit. Hickox was upset by how she was treated by officials at the airport before being quarantined at her home.
Hickox’s lawsuit stating quarantine violates her 14th Amendment due process rights would have been dismissed for two reasons. The first is the precedent ruling of United States v. Shinnick. Expert healthcare workers would have testified that Ebola has a three week incubation period. During those three weeks, if the nurse had Ebola she could pass it before recognizing the symptoms. Thus the case would have been decided by Ebola experts’ testimony. Hickox, as a health worker, would have testified, but she is only one person with a tainted reason to lie.
The second reason Hickox’s petition would have been dismissed is the 14th Amendment deals with due process. Due process pertains to criminals. Since Hickox was not charged with a crime, due process was not being violated. Due process limits the time a citizen can be detained by police until charges are brought. No charges would have been brought toward Hickox. This means the case had nothing to do with due process. These two reasons show that quarantine is constitutional under the 14th
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