Introduction: The Intersection of Constitutional and Environmental Law
Widener University Delaware Law School
October 20, 2011
PRINCIPLES OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, American Bar Association, 2011
This chapter introduces the various ways that constitutional law shapes environmental law, ways that are examined in detail in the chapters that follow. It is hard to overstate the profound influence constitutional law has on legal and policy responses to the most pressing environmental issues of our day: climate change, species and biodiversity conservation, pollution control, use of natural resources, sustainability, rights to a quality environment, individual property rights and liberty interests, wind power, interstate movement of waste and energy, carbon allowances, and land use, to name a few. These issues are molded by constitutional features including the Commerce, dormant Commerce, Supremacy, Takings, and Due Process Clauses; the nondelegation, standing, and political question doctrines; the Tenth and Eleventh Amendments; and principles of executive authority and federalism. Constitutions in many U.S. states, as well as in other countries, also explicitly address environmental concerns. This chapter briefly explains how these and other lower profile constitutional issues shape environmental law.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 34
Keywords: constitutional law, environmental law
JEL Classification: K32, K10
Date posted: October 22, 2011
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