Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



In this Article, Mr. Butler and Professor Gregory discuss the themes of federalism and natural law by examining United States, Republic of Ireland, and European Community cases regarding reproductive freedom, sexual preference, and divorce. The authors find a parallel between Ireland's difficulty in reconciling its Catholic values with the more secular human rights views of the European Community and the religious and social tension caused by federalism in the United States. While courts in both Ireland and the United States have used natural law to justify the level of substantive due process they accord privacy rights, the authors note that Irish courts predicate natural law upon Catholic teachings while United States courts take a more neutral approach based on constitutional interpretation. Despite this difference, the authors believe that the renaissance of natural law jurisprudence in the United States mirrors the established natural law dominant in Ireland.

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