Document Type


Publication Date



Part I of this essay outlines the facts of the Baby M case and traces the reasoning the New Jersey Supreme Court used to justify the legal conclusions that it reached.

Part II then identifies the three common analytical techniques or modes of argument on which the state supreme court relied in conducting its analysis and suggests that each is itself too dependent upon unprincipled policy preferences to have excluded such preferences from the decisionmaking process.

Finally, Part III suggests that no matter how strong an argument one might offer to demonstrate the systemic vulnerability of principle to preference, the demonstration could never be convincing. Such arguments are paradoxically self-defeating.

Publication Citation

76 Geo. L. J. 1719 (1987-1988)