This Comment explores the state of the law of environmental justice and offers an analysis of why the courts have proven inhospitable to environmental justice claimants. It first offers a brief introduction to the problem of environmental injustice, then discusses how and why neither civil rights law nor environmental law has proven adequate to address environmental injustice. The Comment outlines the primary legal theories claimants have advanced and highlights the ways in which current judicial interpretations of the law undermine these theories in the environmental justice context. The piece concludes by asserting the need for judicial recognition of environmental injustice and urges reexamination of four key concepts: (1) disparate impact, (2) economic discrimination, (3) the fundamental right to bodily integrity, and (4) “risk.”
Full-text available at SSRN. See link in this record.
Uma Outka, Environmental Injustice and the Problem of the Law, 57 ME. L. REV. 209 (2005).