Eugene Kontorovich at the Volokh Conspiracy writes:
Kaci Hickox, the nurse forcibly quarantined by New Jersey upon her return from West Africa, is threatening a legal challenge to her confinement. Her lawyers claim she is being deprived of her liberty in violation of the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.
Due process cases are fact specific, and I am not privy to information NJ authorities had before them or their decision-making process. However, it is highly unlikely that she will prevail.
While the Supreme Court has long held quarantines to be constitutional, it has not ruled directly on the scope of permissible quarantines. However, in the famous case of Jacobson v. Massachusetts, the Court did uphold a blanket mandatory vaccination law, under which resisters were put in jail. The principle here is the same as with quarantine – that one’s normal rights to bodily integrity are suspended by a general and serious public need, especially of an epidemiological variety.