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ELI Announces Winner of First "Endangered Environmental Laws" Student Writing Competition

May 23, 2006

Amy Major, a second-year student at the University of Maryland School of Law, has been named the winner of the Environmental Law Institute’s inaugural law student writing competition. Ms. Major will receive a $2000 award and an offer of publication in ELI’s flagship journal The Environmental Law Reporter (ELR), the only attorney-edited law review covering environmental and natural resource issues.

Ms. Major’s winning entry, “Foxes Guarding the Henhouse: How to Protect Environmental Standing from a Conservative Supreme Court,” traces the evolution of environmental standing in the Supreme Court and proposes the use of “informational injury” to establish standing under the Endangered Species Act in the wake of restrictions imposed by recent Court decisions. “Her article does a superlative job of examining developments in standing law in light of recent changes on the Supreme Court, and in putting forth a creative proposal for securing standing under the ESA,” noted Jay Austin, Director of ELI’s Endangered Environmental Laws Program.

Finalists for the award, who will also receive offers of publication in ELR, include Esther Westbrook of Lewis & Clark Law School, for her entry, “Recognizing the Limits of Water Rights: Rejecting Takings Claims in Klamath Irrigation District v. United States,” and Koalani L. Kaulukukui of the University of Hawai‘i at M?noa, William S. Richardson School of Law, for her entry, “The Brief and Unexpected Preemption of Hawai‘i’s Humpback Whale Laws: The Authority of the States to Protect Endangered Marine Mammals Under the ESA and the MMPA.”

The competition, sponsored by the Endangered Environmental Laws Program, encourages law students to explore issues at the intersection of constitutional and environmental law. “Each of these papers helps advance our understanding of the constitutional foundation of modern environmental law,” explained Leslie Carothers, President of the Institute. “Their authors are part of the next generation of legal scholars and practitioners.” Next year’s competition will be jointly sponsored by ELI and the Constitutional Law Task Force of the ABA’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources.

The Environmental Law Institute is an independent, nonpartisan education and policy research center dedicated to environmental protection through improved environmental law and governance. The Institute’s Endangered Environmental Laws Program seeks to defend the existing system of environmental law and regulation by advancing a vision of constitutional and environmental law based on principles such as broad access to federal courts, uniform federal environmental standards, and a balanced view of private property that respects both individual rights and society’s interests. For more information, please contact Jay Austin at (202) 558-3103, or austin@eli.org.