Constitutional Conservation in California: Evaluation of Environmental Rights in Law and Governance

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2023-04-28

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Abstract

The United States legal system has played a crucial role in modern environmental protection. However, environmental laws are difficult to enforce, reactive, and do not adequately protect ecosystems and human health. New legal movements like Rights of Nature and Green Amendments seek to close these gaps by granting legal rights to either ecosystems or human communities to defend their natural environments. Through a comparative legal analysis, this project concludes that the most effective policy option is to grant humans the right to a clean and healthy environment. This approach offers numerous advantages, including compatibility with existing state laws, established precedent in other states, and anticipatory and preventative language. To put this policy into action at the state level, the project includes a stakeholder analysis and assessment of California's legal landscape. Findings suggest that such an amendment is likely to pass through California's state legislature.

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Carter, Michelle Elizabeth (2023). Constitutional Conservation in California: Evaluation of Environmental Rights in Law and Governance. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/27241.


Dukes student scholarship is made available to the public using a Creative Commons Attribution / Non-commercial / No derivative (CC-BY-NC-ND) license.