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Full-Text Articles in Law

Two Social Movements, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 1994

Two Social Movements, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

Two social movements in the last fifty years have had a profound impact on our understanding of law and the role of the courts in our system of government. One is the civil rights movement. The demand for greater racial and gender equality and other civil rights has changed the face of the law in countless ways. For example, it has called into question – or at least required a fundamental revision in – the traditional understanding that the courts should interpret the Constitution and laws in accordance with their original meaning. Decisions such as Brown v. Board of Education and the ...


Panel Iii: International Law, Global Environmentalism, And The Future Of American Environmental Policy, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 1994

Panel Iii: International Law, Global Environmentalism, And The Future Of American Environmental Policy, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

From an American perspective, environmental law has undergone two bouts of centralization in the past three decades. Round one occurred in the 1970's, as Congress federalized vast areas of environmental law that had previously been the province of state and local governments. Round two, which is still in an incipient phase, represents the effort to internationalize environmental law.

The question I would like to address is what can we learn from round one about what is likely to happen in round two. My answer, in a nutshell, is that the primary driving force behind the federalization of environmental law ...


The Victims Of Nimby, Michael B. Gerrard Jan 1994

The Victims Of Nimby, Michael B. Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

It is a syndrome, a pejorative, and an acronym of our times: NIMBY, or Not In My Back Yard. It has a political arm, NIMTOO (Not In My Term Of Office), an object of attack, LULUs (Locally Undesired Land Uses), and an extreme form, BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone). Acronyms aside, however, the question remains as to whether or not NIMBY has victims. Is anyone hurt by NIMBY?

Many leading voices in the environmental justice movement believe that minority communities are victims of NIMBY. For example, Professor Robert D. Bullard has written that "[t]he cumulative effect of ...


The Role Of Existing Environmental Laws In The Environmental Justice Movement, Michael B. Gerrard Jan 1994

The Role Of Existing Environmental Laws In The Environmental Justice Movement, Michael B. Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

I will focus on what can and cannot be done under the existing statutory and regulatory structures and the common law to protect minority communities from environmental hazards. I will highlight some of the current holes in the legal system to suggest areas where statutory reform might be useful. Fights against these facilities break down between future unbuilt facilities, on the one hand, and existing facilities on the other hand.

A broad array of statutes regulates future facilities, such as landfills, incinerators, interstate highways, and polluting factories. Some of these laws are aimed at providing information and requiring the decision ...


Fear And Loathing In The Siting Of Hazardous And Radioactive Waste Facilities: A Comprehensive Approach To A Misperceived Crisis, Michael B. Gerrard Jan 1994

Fear And Loathing In The Siting Of Hazardous And Radioactive Waste Facilities: A Comprehensive Approach To A Misperceived Crisis, Michael B. Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

Few laws have failed so completely as the federal and state statutes designed to create new facilities for the disposal of hazardous and radioactive waste. Despite scores of siting attempts and the expenditure of several billion dollars since the mid-1970s, only one radioactive waste disposal facility, only one hazardous waste landfill (in the aptly named Last Chance, Colorado), and merely a handful of hazardous waste treatment and incineration units are operating on new sites in the United States today.

In 1981, a leading member of Congress, relying on data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), predicted that by ...


Recovery For Economic Loss Following The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, Victor P. Goldberg Jan 1994

Recovery For Economic Loss Following The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, Victor P. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

The physical cleanup following one of the worst oil spills in history, that of the Exxon Valdez, is done. The legal cleanup, however, has barely begun. Over 100 law firms participating in over 200 suits in federal and state courts involving more than 30,000 claims are presently engaged in litigation. Fishermen, cannery workers, fishing lodges, tour boat operators, oil companies whose shipments were delayed, and even California motorists facing higher gasoline prices have filed claims against Exxon and its fellow defendants.

Most claimants face a formidable roadblock, the so-called Robins doctrine. Under Robins Dry Dock & Repair Co. v. Flint ...