PJI Helps Defeat Extreme California Bill That Would Have Allowed Teenagers to Receive Potentially Unsafe Vaccinations Without Parental Knowledge or Consent

PJI’s strong objection to California Senate Bill 866, which would have allowed 15-year-olds to be vaccinated without parental knowledge or consent, contributed to the author, Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), pulling the Bill from the legislative process.

In the February opposition letter by PJI-Center for Public Policy (PJI-CPP) to the California State Assembly, Senior Staff Attorney Matt McReynolds presented the following:

This short-sighted effort to increase vaccination rates will have long-term, negative consequences not only for minors and their parents, but more broadly for the future of informed consent as we now know it. We urge you to reject this latest push to make children the closed-circuit recipients of government coercion. It is unwise and unconstitutional and will have unintended consequences extending well beyond COVID-19.

Senator Weiner stated that there were not enough votes to pass SB 866 on the final day of the Legislative Session. The LA Times stated, “The legislation initially sought to allow children as young as 12 to make that decision when it passed the Senate in May, but Wiener said it was clear the bill faced an uncertain path in the Assembly unless he raised the age.”

Cal Matters wrote that “some legislators saw the bill as an ‘overreach’ that undermined parental decisions. SB 866 was one of several bills that grew out of a legislative Vaccine Work Group created to focus on bills related to COVID-19 and vaccination. Of those eight bills, four died, three have been sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom and one is still in play in the Legislature.”

This extreme, anti-parent legislation is precisely why PJI created its Center for Public Policy twelve years ago. PJI-CPP works directly with state legislators to ensure that bills being introduced in legislatures around the country are constitutional.

PJI is the only legal defense nonprofit in America that employs this “inside out” approach. PJI-CPP not only holds politicians accountable by fighting unconstitutional laws and winning in court, but also works with legislators on the front-end of the lawmaking process to mitigate legal fees that are always borne by taxpayers when their attorneys general are challenged by PJI to defend unconstitutional state laws in court.

PJI Founder and President, Brad Dacus stated, “It has been said, ‘The condition upon which God has given liberty to man is eternal vigilance.’ For 25 years, PJI has stood ready to protect and defend our fellow Americans from extreme, unconstitutional laws and actions inflicted upon them by those in power; and we will continue to do so. Freedom’s work is never done and our Center for Public Policy is committed to carrying on and advancing the guardianship of our precious freedoms of religion, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.”