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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Private Litigation Impact Of New York’S Green Amendment, Evan Bianchi, Sean Di Luccio, Martin Lockman, Vincent Nolette May 2024

The Private Litigation Impact Of New York’S Green Amendment, Evan Bianchi, Sean Di Luccio, Martin Lockman, Vincent Nolette

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

The increasing urgency of climate change, combined with federal environmental inaction under the Trump Administration, inspired a wave of environmental action at the state and local level. Building on the environmental movement of the 1970s, activists have pushed to amend more than a dozen state constitutions to include “green amendments” — self-executing individual rights to a clean environment. In 2022, New York activists succeeded, and New York’s Green Amendment (the NYGA) now provides that “Each person shall have a right to clean air and water, and a healthful environment.”

However, the power of the NYGA and similar green amendments turns …


The Lawlessness Of Sackett V. Epa, William W. Buzbee Jan 2024

The Lawlessness Of Sackett V. Epa, William W. Buzbee

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

When the Supreme Court speaks on a disputed statutory interpretation question, its words and edicts undoubtedly are the final judicial word, binding lower courts and the executive branch. Its majority opinions are the law. But the Court’s opinions can nonetheless be assessed for how well they hew to fundamental elements of respect for the rule of law. In particular, law-respecting versus law-neglecting or lawless judicial work by the Court can be assessed in the statutory interpretation, regulatory, and separation of power realms against the following key criteria, which in turn are based on some basic rule of law tenets: analysis …


The Great Climate Migration: A Critique Of Global Legal Standards Of Climate-Change Caused Harm, Mariah Stephens Jul 2023

The Great Climate Migration: A Critique Of Global Legal Standards Of Climate-Change Caused Harm, Mariah Stephens

Sustainable Development Law & Policy

Approximately 2.4 billion people, or about forty percent of the global population, live within sixty miles (one hundred kilometers) of a coastline. The United Nations (“U.N.”) determined that “a sea level rise of half a meter could displace 1.2 million people from low-lying islands in the Caribbean Sea and the Indian and Pacific Oceans, with that number almost doubling if the sea level rises by two metres.” The U.N. also reports that “sudden weather-related hazards” have internally displaced an annual average of 21.5 million people since 2008. Within the next few decades, this number is likely to continue to increase. …


Editors' Note, Rachel Keylon, Meghen Sullivan Jul 2023

Editors' Note, Rachel Keylon, Meghen Sullivan

Sustainable Development Law & Policy

For more than two decades, the Sustainable Development Law and Policy Brief (“SDLP”) has published works analyzing emerging legal and policy issues within the fields of environmental, energy, sustainable development, and natural resources law. SDLP has also prioritized making space for law students in the conversation. We are honored to continue this tradition in Volume XXIII.


About Sdlp, Sdlp Mar 2023

About Sdlp, Sdlp

Sustainable Development Law & Policy

The Sustainable Development Law & Policy Brief (ISSN 1552-3721) is a student-run initiative at American University Washington College of Law that is published twice each academic year. The Brief embraces an interdisciplinary focus to provide a broad view of current legal, political, and social developments. It was founded to provide a forum for those interested in promoting sustainable economic development, conservation, environmental justice, and biodiversity throughout the world.


Climate Change And The Law Of National Security Adaptation, Mark P. Nevitt Jan 2023

Climate Change And The Law Of National Security Adaptation, Mark P. Nevitt

Faculty Articles

The Department of Defense (DoD) is the largest employer in the world, owns and operates an enormous global real estate portfolio, and emits more Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) than many nations. Entrusted with the national security, the DoD is now threatened by a new enemy—climate change. Climate change imperils national security infrastructure while undermining the military’s capacity to respond to climate-driven disasters at home and abroad. However, legal scholarship has yet to address what I call “the law of national security adaptation” and related questions. For example, how do environmental and climate change laws apply to the U.S. military? What laws …


Using State Law Before The Glaciers Thaw: Climate Torts After Bp V. Baltimore, Jillian Mayer Jan 2023

Using State Law Before The Glaciers Thaw: Climate Torts After Bp V. Baltimore, Jillian Mayer

American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law

We are living in the beginning stages of Earth’s sixth mass extinction. Since the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century, the burning of fossil fuels has released huge quantities of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses (“GHGs”) into the atmosphere. The increased concentration of GHGs causes the atmosphere to retain more heat. Consequently, ecosystems and weather patterns shift and change faster than most plants, animals, and human societies can adapt. Climate change threatens global peace, crashes economies, and creates humanitarian crises.


On Fires, Floods, And Federalism, Andrew Hammond Jan 2023

On Fires, Floods, And Federalism, Andrew Hammond

UF Law Faculty Publications

In the United States, law condemns poor people to their fates in states. Where Americans live continues to dictate whether they can access cash, food, and medical assistance. What’s more, immigrants, territorial residents, and tribal members encounter deteriorated corners of the American welfare state. Nonetheless, despite repeated retrenchment efforts, this patchwork of programs has proven remarkably resilient. Yet, the ability of the United States to meet its people’s most basic needs now faces an unprecedented challenge: climate change. As extreme weather events like wildfires and hurricanes become more frequent and more intense, these climate-fueled disasters will displace and impoverish more …


Buka Siape Sambehin Injin: Komentar Atas Putusan Tentang Izin Lingkungan Pltu Celukan Bawang, Andri Gunawan Wibisana, Fajri Fadhillah Mar 2022

Buka Siape Sambehin Injin: Komentar Atas Putusan Tentang Izin Lingkungan Pltu Celukan Bawang, Andri Gunawan Wibisana, Fajri Fadhillah

Jurnal Hukum & Pembangunan

This paper examines administrative court’s view in the Izin Lingkungan PLTU Celukan Bawang case. The paper puts emphasis on the use of actual losses to assess the plaintiffs’ legal standing and the deadline for filing a lawsuit. This paper considers that the court was incorrect in interpreting the legal standing by focusing on the absence of plaintiffs’ actual losses. The court also took a conservative position in determining the deadline for filing the lawsuit. This paper criticizes the court’s failure to take into account the issue of climate change addressed by the plaintiffs, so that the court missed a golden …


Accounting For Climate Change In United States Regional Ocean Planning: Comparing The Obama And Trump National Ocean Policies To A Climate-Forward Approach, Taylor Goelz Mar 2022

Accounting For Climate Change In United States Regional Ocean Planning: Comparing The Obama And Trump National Ocean Policies To A Climate-Forward Approach, Taylor Goelz

Sustainable Development Law & Policy

No abstract provided.


“At What Cost?’: The Future Of Securities Enforcement In Climate Change Litigation, Angela Washington Mar 2022

“At What Cost?’: The Future Of Securities Enforcement In Climate Change Litigation, Angela Washington

Sustainable Development Law & Policy

No abstract provided.


Climate Gentrification: An Imminent Threat To Oceanfront Cities, Marcel Apple Mar 2022

Climate Gentrification: An Imminent Threat To Oceanfront Cities, Marcel Apple

Sustainable Development Law & Policy

Overview

Traditionally, gentrification occurs when real estate prices appreciate, leading to significant cultural change in low-income communities and involuntary displacement of low-income residents. In recent years, Miami, Florida is beginning to feel the impacts of “climate gentrification.” High-income buyers, who historically develop property close to the ocean, are affected by rising sea levels and increasingly look inland to develop areas on higher ground. The influx of real estate investments in these is expected to lead to spiking home prices and property taxes, forcing many longtime community members to abandon their homes.

Homeowners in these communities already report approaches from developers …


Constitutional Authority, Common Resources, And The Climate, Anthony L. Moffa Jan 2022

Constitutional Authority, Common Resources, And The Climate, Anthony L. Moffa

Faculty Publications

This work sets out to re-examine and challenge the history of the property clause with an eye towards increased congressional reliance on it in the face of daunting threats to our natural environment. No one could seriously question the primary motivations of the Framers, but that does not foreclose the importance of searching for secondary motivations that deepen our understanding of arguably the Constitution’s most explicitly environmental provision. Eugene Gaetke’s work in the 1980’s and Peter Appel’s work twenty years later laid the groundwork for the argument here by pushing back on the originalist argument for a narrow interpretation of …


Held V. State, Alec D. Skuntz Oct 2021

Held V. State, Alec D. Skuntz

Public Land & Resources Law Review

On March 13, 2020, a group of 16 Montana children and teenagers filed a complaint in the First Judicial District, Lewis and Clark County against the State of Montana and several state agencies. These young Plaintiffs sought injunctive and declaratory relief against Defendants for their complicity in continuing to extract and release harmful amounts of greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change. Plaintiffs premised their argument on the Montana Constitution’s robust environmental rights and protections. The Defendants filed a motion to dismiss which the District Court granted in-part and denied in-part. Held provides a roadmap for future litigation by elucidating …


Restoring Trust In The Judiciary: A Critical, High Priority Project For The Biden Administration, Richard C. Cahn Jan 2021

Restoring Trust In The Judiciary: A Critical, High Priority Project For The Biden Administration, Richard C. Cahn

Touro Law Review

No abstract provided.


The Carbon Price Equivalent: A Metric For Comparing Climate Change Mitigation Efforts Across Jurisdictions, Gabriel Weil Jan 2021

The Carbon Price Equivalent: A Metric For Comparing Climate Change Mitigation Efforts Across Jurisdictions, Gabriel Weil

Dickinson Law Review (2017-Present)

Climate change presents a global commons problem: Emissions reductions on the scale needed to meet global targets do not pass a domestic cost-benefit test in most countries. To give national governments ample incentive to pursue deep decarbonization, mutual interstate coercion will be necessary. Many proposed tools of coercive climate diplomacy would require a onedimensional metric for comparing the stringency of climate change mitigation policy packages across jurisdictions. This article proposes and defends such a metric: the carbon price equivalent. There is substantial variation in the set of climate change mitigation policy instruments implemented by different countries. Nonetheless, the consequences of …


The Fossil Fuel Industry’S Push To Target Climate Protesters In The U.S., Grace Nosek Dec 2020

The Fossil Fuel Industry’S Push To Target Climate Protesters In The U.S., Grace Nosek

Pace Environmental Law Review

At the very moment when the United Nations has called for profound shifts in social and economic systems to avert climate catastrophe, state and non-state actors in the United States (U.S.) are using a series of tactics to target and stifle climate protesters. Although the move to stifle climate protesters is often framed as a government effort, this Article argues it is critical to draw out the role of the fossil fuel industry in initiating, amplifying, and supporting such tactics.

This Article highlights the role the fossil fuel industry has played in supporting the targeting and restricting of climate protesters …


Note: Building Blocks Of A Fundamental Right: A Thought Experiment On The Constitutional Right To A Livable Climate, Melanie Hess Jun 2020

Note: Building Blocks Of A Fundamental Right: A Thought Experiment On The Constitutional Right To A Livable Climate, Melanie Hess

Notre Dame Journal on Emerging Technologies

When civil rights lawyers sought to overturn Plessy v. Ferguson in the years leading up to Brown v. Board of Education, they faced a history of institutionalized segregation and inequality, constitutional acceptance of the “separate but equal” doctrine, and sharp social divisions on the issue. Other landmark cases of rights recognition, such as Obergefell v. Hodges and Roe v. Wade, similarly built upon years of evolution in law, precedent, and social opinion that made them inconceivable before their time. Early versions of the litigation strategies envisioning these judgments might have been tentative and vague, lacking in factual, legal, …


The Dormant Commerce Clause And State Clean Energy Legislation, Kevin Todd Mar 2020

The Dormant Commerce Clause And State Clean Energy Legislation, Kevin Todd

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

This Note analyzes recent litigation concerning the constitutionality of state renewable portfolio standards (RPSs) and similar environmental legislation designed to promote clean energy. It begins with a discussion of the current state of both federal and state responses to climate change. From there, it analyzes several legal challenges to state RPSs and other climate-related laws that focus on potential violations of the dormant Commerce Clause. It concludes with a brief exploration of how these cases fit the history and purpose of the dormant Commerce Clause. The Note argues that a narrow view of the doctrine is consistent with the purpose …


Establishing Climate Change Standing: A New Approach, Ian R. Curry Sep 2019

Establishing Climate Change Standing: A New Approach, Ian R. Curry

Pace Environmental Law Review

Climate change is one of the thorniest political, legal, and economic issues of our time. Therefore, a new legal approach to the issue is required. This Note proposes a streamlined approach for climate change standing, one that assumes injury in fact and causation for a class of discernible climate change harms. A streamlined approach will enable litigants harmed by climate change to seek redress in court, providing an outlet for redress where there has previously been none. Part II of this Note discusses the constitutional doctrine of standing. It begins with a summary of Article III and the logic behind …


Stepping Into The Breach: State Constitutions As A Vehicle For Advancing Rights-Based Climate Litigation, Benjamin T. Sharp Mar 2019

Stepping Into The Breach: State Constitutions As A Vehicle For Advancing Rights-Based Climate Litigation, Benjamin T. Sharp

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

The perceived failures of the political branches to mitigate climate change have led climate change activists to seek alternative means to achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions; many are turning to litigation. The claims in these cases rely on a variety of legal bases, but this Note will focus on those cases claiming that governments’ failures to prevent climate change amount to violations of the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Rights-based climate change litigation is likely to increase in the future. Among the most prominent of the surviving rights-based cases is Juliana v. …


Civil Disobedience: A Constitutional Alternative To Injustice, Samuel H.J. Schultz Jan 2019

Civil Disobedience: A Constitutional Alternative To Injustice, Samuel H.J. Schultz

Mitchell Hamline Law Review

No abstract provided.


Life Becoming Hazy: The Withdrawal Of The United States From The Paris Agreement And How The Youth Of America Are Challenging It, Anne Ustynoski Jan 2019

Life Becoming Hazy: The Withdrawal Of The United States From The Paris Agreement And How The Youth Of America Are Challenging It, Anne Ustynoski

Catholic University Journal of Law and Technology

This Comment covers the ways in which each presidential administration has viewed the United States’ role and responsibilities in combating climate change. It discusses the ways in which the Clean Air Act has evolved and changed, as well as the ways in which the United States has been involved in environmental protection initiatives undertaken by the United Nations. The Comment also examines the ways in which individual states and groups have taken the initiative to combat climate change. Finally, this Comment discusses alternative approaches to combating climate change. For example, it focuses on how youths in America are arguing that …


President Trump’S Unilateral Attempt To Cease All Implementation Of The Paris Agreement And To Withdraw From It: Constitutional?, Phillip M. Kannan Dec 2018

President Trump’S Unilateral Attempt To Cease All Implementation Of The Paris Agreement And To Withdraw From It: Constitutional?, Phillip M. Kannan

Pace Environmental Law Review

In his announcement, President Trump stated that he would comply with the withdrawal provision in the Paris Agreement. This Essay argues that, while compliance with that process may satisfy the treaty obligation, it probably does not conform to U.S. constitutional standards, and therefore, would not be binding on the United States. The argument demonstrating the failure of the President to satisfy constitutional standards proceeds as follows. Part I develops the context in which the Paris Agreement arose. Part II briefly summarizes the Paris Agreement. In Part III, I argue that President Trump’s attempt to cease implementation of the Paris Agreement …


Applying The Pennsylvania Environmental Rights Amendment Meaningfully To Climate Disruption, Robert B. Mckinstry Jr., John C. Dernbach Oct 2018

Applying The Pennsylvania Environmental Rights Amendment Meaningfully To Climate Disruption, Robert B. Mckinstry Jr., John C. Dernbach

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

The Pennsylvania Constitution contains a unique Environmental Rights Amendment (ERA), which recognizes an individual right to “clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment.” The ERA also includes a public trust element that makes “Pennsylvania’s public natural resources . . . the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come.” It makes the Commonwealth the “trustee of these resources,” requiring it to “conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.” Recent decisions by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court (the Court) in Robinson Township v. …


Rethinking The Dormant Commerce Clause?: Climate Change And Food Security, Michael Barsa Jan 2018

Rethinking The Dormant Commerce Clause?: Climate Change And Food Security, Michael Barsa

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

No abstract provided.


America’S Relation To World Order: Two Indictments, Two Thought Experiments, And A Misquotation, Philip C. Bobbitt Jan 2018

America’S Relation To World Order: Two Indictments, Two Thought Experiments, And A Misquotation, Philip C. Bobbitt

Faculty Scholarship

The State is undergoing a crisis of legitimacy owing to its inability to cope with novel problems of weapons proliferation, transnational threats including climate change, a fragile global financial infrastructure, cultural influences carried by electronic communications, and an undemocratic regime of human rights law. These fatal inadequacies are summoning forth a new constitutional order, the latest in a series of century-spanning archetypal regimes that have arisen since the Renaissance and the collapse of feudalism. A backlash against the harbingers of this new order, however, is crippling the development of those modes of action that are required to deal with the …


Water, Water, Nowhere: Adapting Water Rights For A Changing Climate, Caleb Hall Aug 2017

Water, Water, Nowhere: Adapting Water Rights For A Changing Climate, Caleb Hall

Sustainable Development Law & Policy

No abstract provided.


Cooperative And Uncooperative Foreign Affairs Federalism, Jean Galbraith Jun 2017

Cooperative And Uncooperative Foreign Affairs Federalism, Jean Galbraith

All Faculty Scholarship

This book review argues for reorienting how we think about federalism in relation to foreign affairs. In considering state and local engagement in foreign affairs, legal scholars often focus on the opportunities and limits provided by constitutional law. Foreign Affairs Federalism: The Myth of National Exclusivity by Michael Glennon and Robert Sloane does precisely this in a thoughtful and well-crafted way. But while the backdrop constitutional principles studied by Glennon and Sloane are important, so too are other types of law that receive far less attention. International law, administrative law, particular statutory schemes, and state law can all affect how …


Constitutional Challenges And Regulatory Opportunities For State Climate Policy Innovation, Felix Mormann Jan 2017

Constitutional Challenges And Regulatory Opportunities For State Climate Policy Innovation, Felix Mormann

Articles

This Article explores constitutional limits and regulatory openings for innovative state policies to mitigate climate change by promoting climate-friendly, renewable energy. In the absence of a comprehensive federal policy approach to climate change and clean energy, more and more states are stepping in to fill the policy void. Already, nearly thirty states have adopted renewable portfolio standards that create markets for solar, wind, and other clean electricity. To help populate these markets, a few pioneering states have recently started using feed-in tariffs that offer eligible generators above-market rates for their clean, renewable power.

But renewable portfolio standards, feed-in tariffs, and …