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Forward for Ecology Law Quarterly, Volume 49 Issue 2

Environmental law covers a lot of territory, intersecting with energy law and land use law. The range of topics in the Annual Review is a tribute to the diversity of the field. The contributions to this issue demonstrate that innovative legal analysis can not only advance legal doctrine, but can also identify pathways for improving policy. All of those who contributed to the issue deserve credit for continuing ELQ’s tradition of excellence over the past half-century. Law professors, students, legal historians, and countless other scholars seeking insight into the major developments in environmental, natural resource, and land use law, as well as developments overseas, will benefit from this Annual Review.

Mar 11, 2023

Unconstrained Judicial Aggrandizement: Major Questions Doctrine in ALA v. EPA

The Court’s major questions doctrine is deeply flawed and should be renounced. There are several reasons for this conclusion: the doctrine lacks analytical rigor; it aggrandizes the judiciary at the expense of constitutionally mandated separation of powers principles; it is unnecessary, since existing mechanisms provide more than adequate judicial review of administrative actions; and the doctrine compromises the legitimacy of judicial decision making.

Mar 11, 2023

Case Critique of a Cat with Crypsis and Call for Court Caution

This Note proposes a new standard for review in the spirit of both the precautionary principle and the deference owed to agency decisions on technical matters. Such a standard is grounded in the ESA and the Supreme Court’s reasoning in Tennessee Valley Authority v. Hill.

Mar 11, 2023

Protecting Future Generations from Climate Change in the United States

There are various possible methods for the United States to become more forward-looking, which is essential if we are going to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect future generations from climate change. The United States is unlikely to follow precisely in the footsteps of France and Germany because Notre Affaire à Tous and Neubauer involved federal constitutional environmental amendments and the Paris Agreement, which the United States withdrew from and later rejoined. However, while the United States is unlikely to pass a federal constitutional amendment to protect the environment, other methods of protection can and have been more successful in protecting future generations from environmental harm. These methods may be helpful in conjunction with each other. A case based on the Due Process Clause of the federal Constitution could succeed in the future, especially if based on procedural due process rights. Some states, including Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Montana, and Massachusetts, have had recent cases enforcing their state’s constitutional environmental provisions, despite experiencing limitations to enforcement early on. In addition, several recent executive orders by President Biden, including Executive Order 14008, have included provisions to protect future generations. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that although all the strategies mentioned for encouraging action on climate change and protecting future generations are essential—they are just commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Countries and states must follow through on these commitments for any change to occur.

Mar 11, 2023


Redressing the Loss of Slave-Era Trees: Evans v. Bedsole and What Louisiana Timber Trespass Law Can’t Do

In Part I, I review timber trespass under Louisiana law, including its triple damages provision. In Part II, I discuss the availability of mental distress damages for timber trespass. Finally, in Part III, I use Critical Race Theory to analyze the 1988 case of Johnny Evans v. B.R. Bedsole Timber Contractors, especially in comparison to Harkness v. Porter, a case with very similar facts but a quite different outcome.

So You Want to be an Environmental Law Professor… An Empirical Analysis of the Environmental Law Hiring Market from 2011 - 2022

Using data collected by Professor Sarah Lawsky for her annual entry level hiring report, I analyzed trends in the hiring of environmental law professors (“ELPs”) from 2011 2022. With this Analysis, I provide insight into the hiring market for environmental law professors. I hope this Analysis is useful and edifying for both aspiring environmental law professors and those in positions of hiring authority within the academy.

Nov 23, 2022

Holey Cow: The Legal Exploitation of Cattle in the United States

This paper aims to unearth patterns, successes, and shortcomings of the legal landscape for cattle in the United States. While U.S. law occasionally works to protect cattle against human exploitation, it is not enough. Instead, the United States’ legal approaches to cattle activity should strive to develop empathy and compassion for cattle, in turn promoting and protecting their health and welfare.

Sep 21, 2022

Evaluating COVID-19 In Prisons As An Environmental Justice Issue

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has underscored the racial, social, and economic disparities that have long plagued every part of American society—including the health of our environment. Given the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on minority communities across the country, government officials have focused their efforts on an equitable COVID-19 response. These efforts, however, have ignored marginalized individuals who are incarcerated. With its interdisciplinary approach, the environmental justice framework may provide a meaningful tool to effectively respond to the impact of COVID-19 in prisons.

May 17, 2022

Ecology Law Quarterly, one of the nation’s most respected and widely read environmental law journals.