Subnational Environmental Constitutionalism and Reform in New York State

31 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2017 Last revised: 19 Oct 2017

See all articles by James May

James May

Widener University Delaware Law School

Date Written: August 18, 2017

Abstract

The State of New York’s constitution was perhaps the first in the world to embody environmental constitutionalism, most directly in what is known as its “Forever Wild” mandate from 1894. In contrast to many subnational environmental provisions, courts in New York have regularly enforced Forever Wild. New York’s Constitution also contains a remarkable mandate that every twenty years voters decide whether to hold elections for delegates to convene a convention to amend the state’s charter.

This article has three parts. Part I provides a primer to the field of subnational environmental constitutionalism. Part II explores the opportunities and challenges in enforcing existing subnational environmental provisions. Part III then examines a case study involving language to consider at a constitutional convention for the State of New York.

Keywords: Environmental Constitutionalism, Environmental Law, Constitutional Law, Subnational Constitutions, New York, Environmental Rights

JEL Classification: K32

Suggested Citation

May, James, Subnational Environmental Constitutionalism and Reform in New York State (August 18, 2017). Pace Law Review, v. 38, 2017; Widener University Delaware Law School Legal Studies Research Paper Series No. 17-13. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3030170

James May (Contact Author)

Widener University Delaware Law School ( email )

4601 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE 19803-0406
United States

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