Is There a Constitutional Right to Clone?

17 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2002

See all articles by Cass R. Sunstein

Cass R. Sunstein

Harvard Law School; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: March 2002


Recent scientific innovations, and proposed legislation, have raised questions about the nature of the constitutional right to reproductive freedom, and in particular about whether there is a constitutional "right to clone." This essay urges that as a matter of substantive due process, rationality review is probably appropriate, and that restrictions on both reproductive and therapeutic cloning would and should survive constitutional scrutiny. At the same time, many of the arguments for banning both forms of cloning are based on ignorance, myths, and speculation. It is extremely important to distinguish between reproductive and nonreproductive cloning, and it is equally important to distinguish among the various rationales for banning each. Some of those rationales have some, but others, including some of the most influential, are exceedingly weak.

Suggested Citation

Sunstein, Cass R., Is There a Constitutional Right to Clone? (March 2002). U of Chicago, Public Law Research Paper No. 22. Available at SSRN: or

Cass R. Sunstein (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

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Areeda Hall 225
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-2291 (Phone)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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