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Document Type

Comments

Abstract

In June 2019, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, in Kanuszewski v. Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, declined to answer whether Michigan’s mandatory newborn screening program violated parents’ fundamental rights to control the medical care of their children, as well as whether the screening constituted an unconstitutional infringement of their children’s Fourth Amendment protections. As a matter of first impression, the Sixth Circuit dismissed these claims under the doctrine of qualified immunity, declining to exercise its discretion to answer the underlying constitutional claims. Although the Sixth Circuit correctly dismissed the defendants on qualified immunity grounds, it missed an opportunity to answer constitutional questions bearing on the effectiveness of Michigan’s public health policy. This Comment argues that Michigan has not sufficiently narrowly tailored its mandatory newborn screening program to its purported goal of protecting the health and well-being of its newest citizens.

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