Streamlining or Steamrolling: Oil and Gas Leasing Reform on Federal Public Lands in the Trump Administration

President Donald Trump promised on the campaign trail that he would make American energy “great again.”[2] He explained that much of the nation’s energy resources remained untapped and that the country suffered from a self-inflicted wound. He said it was time to heal, and he had a plan: an “America First” energy plan.[3] Trump planned to eliminate excessive regulation, open up more federal land to oil and gas development, and bring back the coal industry.[4] This plan contained few details but many promises. President Trump Continue reading →

Reevaluating Environmental Citizen Suits in Theory and Practice

Citizen suits are frequently cited as an essential legal innovation by virtue of their capacity to provide a backstop to lax or ideologically antagonistic administrations. Drawing on data from fifteen years of litigation under two prominent environmental statutes, we find little evidence that citizen suits effectively serve this role in practice. Instead, we find that limited resources and institutional barriers strictly limit the number of citizen suits filed annually against the federal government under two of the most litigated environmental statutes, the National Environmental Policy Continue reading →

Toward Sustainable Recreation on Colorado’s Fourteeners

Colorado’s fourteen-thousand-foot mountains, commonly known as fourteeners, are attracting visitors in unprecedented numbers. As people flock to the state’s most popular peaks, hikers degrade the environment and create safety problems. This Comment addresses potential approaches to recreation management on fourteeners and argues that traditional use-limit management methods, like visitor quotas, do not align with sustainability objectives. The Forest Service, the primary land management agency for most fourteeners, has a duty to promote sustainable recreation by incorporating environmental, social, and economic factors into its decision-making processes. Continue reading →

Uber’s Efficiencies: A Modest Proposal for Limiting Use of Antitrust’s Per Se Rule

In antitrust law, the per se rule against horizontal price-fixing seems set in stone. Over time, however, antitrust enforcers and courts have declined to use this rule and instead have used the rule of reason. This change stems directly from the recognition that the per se rule’s blunt application may end up harming consumers in some contexts. Using Uber as an example of a consumer-friendly, efficiency-enhancing business model, this Comment argues that using the per se rule to analyze horizontal arrangements like Uber’s sacrifices consumer Continue reading →

CERCLA: It’s Time to Prioritize Climate Threats

Climate change will bring more extreme weather, including increased flooding and wind damage, to all stretches of the United States. These effects of climate change will cause profound consequences for communities living near sites with a legacy of toxic waste. With 1,883 Superfund sites on the National Priorities List and countless other U.S. properties with some degree of contamination, climate change will result in increased risk of exposure for surrounding local populations and environments. Currently, the Hazard Ranking System does not consider effects of climate Continue reading →

The Kids Are Alright: Teen Sexting, Child Pornography Charges, and the Criminalization of Adolescent Sexuality

“Sexting” is a term that refers to the exchange of sexually explicit or sexually suggestive messages or images between individuals using electronic messaging. Teenage sexting is a controversial legal topic because the act of taking nude or semi-nude pictures of a minor technically constitutes child pornography under federal law, even when those pictures were self-portraits taken by the minor in question. This Comment argues that the prosecution of sexting under federal child pornography law constitutes the criminalization of adolescent exploration of sexuality and that states Continue reading →

A No-Contest Discharge for Uncollectible Student Loans

Over forty-four million Americans owe more than $1.6 trillion in student loan debt. This debt is nearly impossible to discharge in bankruptcy. Attempting to do so may require costly and contentious litigation with the Department of Education. And because the Department typically fights every case, even initial success can be followed by years of appeals. As a result, few student loan borrowers attempt to discharge their student loan debt in bankruptcy. In this Article, we call on the Department of Education to develop a set Continue reading →

The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Revisited: Law, Science, and the Pursuit of Ecosystem Management in an Iconic Landscape

Thirty years ago, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) concept and ecosystem management surfaced as key to pre-serving this legally fragmented region’s public lands and wildlife in the face of mounting development pressures. Yellowstone’s grizzly bears were in sharp decline and wolves were absent from the landscape, while bison and elk management issues festered. The GYE’s national forest lands were subject to extensive logging, energy leasing, and other commercial activities that cumulatively threatened the region’s ecological integrity. In the face of extreme jurisdictional complexity and a Continue reading →

The Law Review Article

What is a law review article? Does America know? How might we help America in this regard? Here, we approach the first question on the bias: As we have found, a growing body of learning and empirical evidence shows that genres are not merely forms, but forms that anticipate their substance. In this Article, then, we try to capture this action by undertaking the first and only comprehensive “performative study” of the genre of the law review article. Continue reading here.

Bob Nagel and the Emptiness of Supreme Court Standards of Review

Bob Nagel is a well-known and persistent critic of Supreme Court decision making—and in particular, the Court’s stated formulae for how those decisions are reached. Bob’s neologism, “the formulaic Constitution,” was not coined to be an honorific term. For Bob, the Court’s announced rationales often seem hollow and thus quite manipulable, disguising whatever might have been the Court’s real reasons for reaching a decision and perhaps even blinding the Court itself to those reasons. Those of us who are unfortunately tapped by our deans to Continue reading →