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Volume 36, Issue 11 — November 2006


Eminent Domain Legislation Post-<i>Kelo</i>: A State of the States

by Patricia E. Salkin

Editors' Summary: In Kelo v. City of New London, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the use of eminent domain for economic development is a permissible "public use" under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment. The decision proved controversial, as many feared that it would benefit large corporations at the expense of individual homeowners and local communities. Shortly thereafter, numerous states introduced legislation limiting the use of eminent domain. Below, Prof. Patricia Salkin surveys those state initiatives that have been signed into law following the Court's decision in Kelo.

Statutes of Repose and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution

by Garris Ference

Editor's Summary: The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution serves to protect citizens'rights of access to the judicial system. Statutes of repose and statutes of limitations act to curb this right of access. Garris Ference argues in this Article that state statutes of repose have eroded the federal standard of equal protection and that these statutes may be unconstitutional due to their discriminatory effects. Furthermore, he proposes that certain environmental claims, such as toxic torts, should be construed as exceptions to statutes of repose because, like other typical exceptions such as asbestos, many toxic torts have a long latency period.

Darkness, Visible: Global Warming and British Anti-Slavery

by Craig Holt Segall

Editors' Summary: The environmental movement is just beginning to grapple with the problem of climate change and is doing so in a historical vacuum. Environmentalists would benefit from studying the last major social movement aimed at making the basic economic underpinnings of a society morally visible: British anti-slavery. That movement, too, dealt with an international economic system causing enormous human suffering; its leaders succeeded in convincing Britain to abandon the slave trade at considerable national cost. In this Article, Craig Segall analyzes the structures and goals of the two movements and suggests that developing an understanding of climate change as a moral crisis must be the ultimate goal of climate change litigation and legislative policy. It is the first paper to apply social movement theory and historical analysis to the two crises.

Achieving Fisheries Sustainability in the United States

by Richard Hildreth

Editors' Summary: The 1996 Sustainable Fisheries Act is arguably the most significant federal environmental legislation enacted in the last two decades. The Act applies sustainability principles and approaches such as biodiversity protection, externality internalization, and precaution to advance fisheries sustainability within the U.S. EEZ. In this Article, Prof. Richard Hildreth details the U.S. attempt at moving toward more sustainable fisheries management. He outlines the global legal framework governing ocean resources, and then focuses on the multilateral and bilateral fisheries agreements to which the United States is a party. Finally, he describes how the SFA incorporates the sustainability principles embodied in these international agreements.

Ocean Law and Policy: An Update

by Kathryn Mengerink, Walter Cruickshank, Karen Hansen, Diane Regas, Roger Rufe

Editors' Summary: On April 18, 2006, the Environmental Law Institute hosted the first seminar in a series exploring current ocean law and policy issues. After the moderator provided a short overview of the current state of ocean law and policy, the panelists shared their expertise on a variety of topics including: the activities that have resulted from the 2003 and 2004 release of reports from the Pew Oceans Commission and the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy; the adequacy of current governance structures to meet ocean environmental and regulatory needs; current legal risks for marine environments and industries; and likely changes in federal ocean law and policy. Below is a transcript of the event.