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Faculty Publications

2012

Environmental Law

Birds

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Paved With Good Intentions: The Fate Of Strict Liability Under The Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Kalyani Robbins Jan 2012

Paved With Good Intentions: The Fate Of Strict Liability Under The Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Kalyani Robbins

Faculty Publications

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) contains a very broad ban on harming migratory birds, as well as a strict liability standard for misdemeanor violations. Without further limitation, the MBTA would theoretically apply to countless ordinary life activities, such as driving a car or having windows on one’s home. Naturally, there are due process concerns with such a scenario, so Congress expressly left it to the Department of the Interior to draft more detailed implementing regulations. Unfortunately, the existing regulations fail to adequately address the potential overbreadth of the MBTA’s misdemeanor application, forcing the courts to do so ...