The continuing failure of the federal government to respond to the growing threat of climate change, despite affirmative duties to do so, creates a governance vacuum that the Constitution might help fill, if such a responsibility could be found within the document. This Article explores textual and non-textual constitutional support for that responsibility, finding that no single provision of the Constitution is a perfect fit for that responsibility. However, the document as a whole might support constitutionalizing an environmental protection norm as an individual right or affirmative government obligation given the norm's importance to the enjoyment of other constitutional rights and growing public support for mitigating or avoiding the adverse effects of climate change.
Ecology Law Quarterly, Vol. 45, Issue 4, 735-786.
Scholarly Commons Citation
Babcock, Hope M., "The Federal Government Has an Implied Moral Constitutional Duty to Protect Individuals from Harm Due to Climate Change: Throwing Spaghetti Against the Wall to See What Sticks" (2019). Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works. 2183.