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The Long Environmental Justice Movement

The standpoint of environmental justice has become integral to environmental law in the last thirty years. Environmental justice criticizes mainstream environmental law and advocacy institutions on three main fronts: for paying too little attention to the distributive effects of environmental policy; for emphasizing elite and professional advocacy over participation in decision making by affected communities; and for adhering to a woods-and-waters view of which problems count as “environmental” that disregards the importance of neighborhoods, workplaces, and cities.

Mar 26, 2020
Jedediah Purdy

Explaining Environmental Information Disclosure in China

In recent years, China has adopted a range of measures for information disclosure or “open government information.” This comes as a surprise in an authoritarian system known more for secrecy and information control. Why do authoritarian leaders embrace such mechanisms, and how do state and society actors respond? This Article examines in particular the emergence of environmental information disclosure in China, and makes two main contributions to the scholarly debate on Chinese law and governance.

Mar 26, 2020
Alex L. Wang

Is the Clean Air Act Unconstitutional? Coercion, Cooperative Federalism and Conditional Spending after NFIB v. Sebelius

The Clean Air Act, like many federal environmental statutes, relies upon the cooperation of state environmental agencies for its execution and enforcement. If states do not cooperate, the Clean Air Act obligates the federal government to regulate in their stead as well as to impose potentially draconian sanctions. Specifically, the Act calls for the revocation of federal highway funds in noncooperative states. There are reasons to suspect that the Clean Air Act’s sanction regime is unconstitutional, particularly in the wake of National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, which enforced a limit on the federal government’s ability to induce states to cooperate with federal programs.

Mar 25, 2020
Jonathan H. Adler and Nathaniel Stewart

Illegal Marijuana Cultivation on Public Lands: Our Federalism on a Very Bad Trip

Fueled by increasing demand for marijuana, illegal cultivation of the drug on public lands is causing massive environmental harm. The federal government lacks the resources to wage what would be a difficult and costly campaign to eradicate these illegal grow sites and instead focuses its limited resources on enforcing the federal marijuana ban.

Mar 25, 2020
Hope M. Babcock