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Cambridge University Press




With the Nancy Cruzan decision, 1 the post-Reagan Supreme Court continued recreating America's legal landscape by transferring traditional rights from its citizens to state legislatures and state officials. Attorneys Bopp and Marzen see Cruzan as a cause for celebration. 2 The more common view is that it is a hollow acceptance of the technological imperative that requires all Americans to engage in extensive damage control. Given the composition of the Court, constituted by President Ronald Reagan to overrule Roe v. Wade, Bopp and Marzen correctly note that the result in Cruzan was "practically inevitable." But its inevitability does not make its consequences any more desirable than the devastation caused by an inevitable tornado or tidal wave. This article summarizes the Cruzan case and suggests ways to contain its potentially destructive force.

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