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The Constitution and Environmental Law

Corporations and special interests have poured millions of dollars into a coordinated effort to attack environmental safeguards based on interpretations of the Constitution that cannot be squared with the document’s text and history, especially its Takings and Commerce Clauses. CAC continues the path-breaking work of its predecessor organization, Community Rights Counsel, which defended the constitutionality of environmental safeguards and helped win important and surprising Supreme Court victories.

Think Tank

In April 1998, CAC's predecessor organization, Community Rights Counsel released a comprehensive investigative report that chronicles and critiques the increasingly successful campaign by conservative legal activists to use the court system to further an anti-regulatory political agenda. The report traces what it dubs the "Takings Project" from its roots in the U.S. Justice Department under Attorney General Edwin Meese, through the systematic efforts of developers and property rights groups to move takings cases through the court system and finally to the case law, where conservative jurists have ignored procedural rules and made significant leaps in the face of precedent in order to upend the accepted interpretation of the Takings Clause.

Read our report, Hostile Environment, which documents the threat that anti-environmental judicial activists sitting on the federal bench pose to protections for the environment, specifically by denying plaintiffs their day in court due to "lack of standing."