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Environmental Law

Federalism

Mitchell Hamline School of Law

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Root And Branch: The Thirteenth Amendment And Environmental Justice, Mehmet K. Konar-Steenberg Jan 2018

Root And Branch: The Thirteenth Amendment And Environmental Justice, Mehmet K. Konar-Steenberg

Faculty Scholarship

Forty years since the birth of the environmental justice movement, environmental injustice persists. One reason is the failure to identify a viable constitutional root for environmental justice doctrine in either the Fourteenth Amendment or Commerce Clause. Accordingly, this essay argues that the Thirteenth Amendment might provide a fertile environment for a flourishing law of environmental justice.

Part I will describes how environmental justice’s distributive justice vision was at odds with environmental law’s positivist, proceduralist core, and how that difference helps to account for the constitutional difficulties that followed. Part II describe one of those difficulties: the disparate impact ...