How to Protect Environmental Protections 


The nation's environmental laws, mostly passed in the '70s with bipartisan consensus, are supported by a broad view of Congress's authority under the Constitution's Commerce or Spending Clauses. But an expansive view of federal power to regulate in many areas, not just environmentally, has come under fire from litigants, some judges, and even the Supreme Court. At the same time, states are increasingly trying to take on more environmental responsibilities, but are also being blocked by court rulings that, ironically, say that states are impinging on federal prerogatives. Faced with this challenge on two fronts, what is the future of environmental and community protections, whether they originate in Washington or in the states?


Jonathan H. Adler, Professor of Law, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Robin Kundis Craig
, Professor of Law, Indiana University School of Law, author of The Clean Water Act and the Constitution

Douglas T. Kendall, Founder and Executive Director, Community Rights Counsel, editor of Redefining Federalism

Moderated by:

Mark Agrast, Senior Vice President for Domestic Policy, Center for American Progress


Thursday, March 24, 2005
Program: 12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Lunch will be served at 12 noon.
Admission is free.


Center for American Progress
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About the participants:

Mark Agrast is the Senior Vice President for Domestic Policy at the Center for American Progress. Prior to joining the Center, Mr. Agrast was Counsel and Legislative Director to Congressman William D. Delahunt of Massachusetts. He previously served as a top aide to Massachusetts Congressman Gerry E. Studds and practiced international law with the Washington office of Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue. During his years on Capitol Hill, Mr. Agrast played a prominent role in shaping laws on civil and constitutional rights, terrorism and civil liberties, criminal justice, patent and copyright law, antitrust, and other matters within the jurisdiction of the House Committee on the Judiciary. He was also responsible for legal issues within the jurisdiction of the House International Relations Committee, including the implementation of international agreements on human rights, inter-country adoption, and the protection of intellectual property rights. He is a member of the Supreme Court Bar and serves on the 37-member Board of Governors of the American Bar Association. He was elected a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation in 2001. After graduating from Case Western Reserve, he attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and later received his J.D. from Yale Law School.

Jonathan H. Adler
is an Associate Professor of Law and Associate Director of the Center for Business Law and Regulation at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, where he teaches constitutional law and several environmental law courses. Mr. Adler joined the faculty in 2001 after serving as a clerk to the Honorable David B. Sentelle on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Prior to entering law school, he worked as the Director of Environmental Studies for the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. Mr. Adler's writing focuses primarily on environmental and regulatory policy issues. He is the author or editor of three books, over ten scholarly articles, including "Judicial Federalism and the Future of Federal Environmental Regulation," forthcoming in the Iowa Law Review. His writing has appeared in publications ranging from Environmental Law and Supreme Court Economic Review to The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, among many others. He is a contributing editor to National Review Online. In 2004, Mr. Adler was awarded the Paul M. Bator Award, given annually by The Federalist Society to an academic under 40 for excellence in teaching, scholarship, and commitment to students. He received his B.A. magna cum laude from Yale University and his J.D. summa cum laude from George Mason University.

Robin Kundis Craig
is a Professor of Law at Indiana University School of Law and author of The Clean Water Act and the Constitution: Legal Structure and The Public's Right to a Clean and Healthy Environment, and an environmental law textbook, Environmental Law in Context. She has also written numerous law articles on environmental law, ocean and coastal law, and law and science, as well as the "Oceans and Estuaries" chapter of Stumbling Toward Sustainability , a comprehensive review of the United States' progress toward sustainable use of its natural resources. Previously, she was Associate Professor of Law at Western New England College. She has served as a clerk for Judge Robert E. Jones, U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, as well as for the Oregon Department of Justice in the Natural Resources Section. She currently serves as Chair of the ABA's Marine Resources committee. She received a B.A. from Pomona College, an M.A. from The John Hopkins University, a Ph.D. from the University of California, and a J.D. from Lewis & Clark School of Law.

Douglas T. Kendall
is Founder and Executive Director of Community Rights Counsel (CRC) and editor of the recently published Redefining Federalism: Listening to States in Shaping "Our Federalism". As CRC's Executive Director, Mr. Kendall has represented local government clients in state and federal appellate courts around the country and before the U.S. Supreme Court. He is co-author of CRC's Takings Litigation Handbook: Defending Takings Challenges to Land-Use Regulations, and has served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Virginia Graduate Planning Program, where he taught legal issues in land-use planning. Before starting CRC, Mr. Kendall worked as a litigator in the constitutional practice area at the Washington, D.C., law firm of Crowell & Moring. He also spent several years working on Capitol Hill. His writings on takings/land-use law have appeared in numerous publications, including the Virginia Law Review, the Urban Lawyer, the Harvard Environmental Law Journal, the Zoning and Planning Law Handbook, the Virginia Environmental Law Journal, and the Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Journal . He received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Virginia


The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. We believe that Americans are bound together by a common commitment to these values and we aspire to ensure that our national policies reflect these values. We work to find progressive and pragmatic solutions to significant domestic and international problems and develop policy proposals that foster a government that is "of the people, by the people, and for the people."

The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) is an internationally recognized, independent research and education center that has played a pivotal role in shaping the fields of environmental law, policy, and management in the United States and abroad for over three decades. Through its research programs, policy recommendations, information services, training courses, and seminars, the Institute activates a broad constituency of professionals in public interest and local community organizations, government, academia, and the private sector. Central to ELI's mission is convening this diverse constituency to work cooperatively in developing effective solutions to pressing problems facing human society and the environment. ELI also sponsors the Endangered Environmental Laws Program, which focuses on the intersection of constitutional and environmental law.

The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy is one of the nation's leading progressive legal organizations. Founded in 2001, ACS is comprised of law students, lawyers, scholars, judges, policymakers, activists and other concerned individuals who are working to ensure that the fundamental principles of human dignity, individual rights and liberties, genuine equality, and access to justice are in their rightful, central place in American law.