Brad K. Thoenen


Forty years ago, Justice John Harlan noted that the United State Constitution "is not a panacea for every blot upon the public welfare, nor [is the] Court . . .a general haven for reform movements." Written during an era of judicial progressivism, Justice Harlan's words capture perfectly the essence of the Eighth Circuit's majority opinion in Terrell v. Larson, a recent substantive due process case from Minnesota. Substantive due process claims often tug at the heartstrings of our jurisprudence, and Terrell is certainly no exception. This Note will explore the legal foundations and policy implications of Terrell and attempt to illustrate that, while the Eighth Circuit correctly dismissed Terrell's claims, the court failed to capitalize on an opportunity to encourage state legislatures to provide causes of action for these substantive due process cases.

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