How does our government balance public health powers with civil liberties? Who has the power to create and enforce laws affecting public health? Understanding the scope of public health authority helps practitioners stay within the constitutional limits that guide their everyday activities.

What Is the Scope of Public Health Authority? is a short video about the powers delegated to different levels of government as well as the limits on those public health powers. This brief video presentation explains what gives governments the power to authorize and implement public health interventions. The presentation also explains how individual liberties are protected from government overreach and details the different types of due process.

This video includes material from the Public Health Law Academy’s full-length trainings Public Health Threats & the US Constitution and Public Health Law: Past & Present. The video is intended for public health practitioners who want a quick, high-level introduction to public health powers and limits. It can also be used by trainers or faculty who want to introduce these concepts in a classroom or a training workshop. 

View the video here: