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Georgetown University Law Center

Environmental Law

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A Brook With Legal Rights: The Rights Of Nature In Court, Hope M. Babcock Jan 2016

A Brook With Legal Rights: The Rights Of Nature In Court, Hope M. Babcock

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Over two decades ago, Professor Christopher Stone asked what turned out to be a question of enduring interest: should trees have standing? His question was recently answered in the affirmative by a creek in Pennsylvania, which successfully intervened in a lawsuit between an energy company and a local township to prevent the lifting of a ban against drilling oil and gas wastewater wells. Using that intervention, this Article examines whether such an initiative might succeed on a broader scale. The Article parses the structure, language, and punctuation of Article III, as well as various theories of nonhuman personhood to see ...


Climate Change In The Supreme Court, Lisa Heinzerling Jan 2008

Climate Change In The Supreme Court, Lisa Heinzerling

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, the Supreme Court confronted the issue of climate change for the first time. The Court held that the Clean Air Act gives the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to regulate greenhouse gases and that the agency may not decline to exercise this authority based either on factors not present in the statute or inconclusive gestures toward uncertainty in the science of climate change. I had the privilege of serving as the lead author of the winning briefs in this case. This Article provides an insider's perspective on the choices that went into bringing ...


Judging Environmental Law, Richard J. Lazarus Jan 2004

Judging Environmental Law, Richard J. Lazarus

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The title of this Essay, "Judging Environmental Law," evokes several different themes. On the one hand, the title presents an occasion to discuss the role of judges in environmental law. On the other hand, it offers an opportunity to judge environmental law itself: whether environmental law is guilty, as charged by some in industry, of overreaching in its regulatory requirements; or, whether environmental law is instead guilty, as charged by some environmentalists, of underreaching, by failing to address pressing pollution control and natural resource management concerns. Finally, the title of the Essay possibly presents an occasion for a more theoretical ...