Faculty and students of the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University have devoted academic attention to the environmental law provisions of the New York State Constitution for three decades. These include offering seminars and convening and publishing symposia on the Constitution and its “forever wild” Forest Preserve provisions in Article XIV. The Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic has provided counselling and litigated issues of law protecting the Catskill Mountain’s watershed and the Adirondack Forest Preserve, including an amicus curia brief filed for the Sierra Club in an Article XIV case supervised by Prof. Todd Ommen. The Clinic has also filed amici briefs advocating for proper application of the Green Amendment as well as seeking to intervene to assert local residents’ environmental rights in a DEC enforcement action. Haub Law School faculty members have taught courses on Conservation Law and the NYS Constitution’s “Conservation Bill of Rights,” and addressed other Constitutional issues, such as due process and the public trust doctrine, through individual guided research by both J.D. and LL.M. candidates. Alumna Maya van Rossum authored The Green Amendment: Securing our Right to a Healthy Environment and founded and leads For the Generations, an advocacy group supporting the adoption of green amendments across the United States. Alumnus and Visiting Professor James May founded the Global Environmental Rights Institute at Widener University Delaware Law School. Prof. Katrina Kuh chaired a Taskforce of the NYS Bar Association’s Section on Energy & Environment on the proposed amendment to the NYS Bill of Rights to provide a right to the environment. Prof. Nicholas A. Robinson participated as a Member of the NYSBA Committee on the State Constitution since the Committee’s inception, and authored reports for the Committee regarding both Article XIV, and what is now Article I, Section 19, on the Constitution’s Bill of Rights. Prof. Robinson also curated, at the NY Judicial Institute and for the Law School, the NYSBA and ABA Exhibition and Lecture series on the 800th Anniversary of Magna Carta, and the origins of the Forest Charter of 1217 arising from Magna Carta. Both provide ancient foundations for the Right to the Environment. Haub Law School faculty lecture often on the Right to the Environment and Environmental Law for civic groups and publish op-ed essays.
Professors Kuh, Ommen and Robinson, in cooperation with Prof. Deborah Heller, Director of the Haub Law School Law Library, and working with Haub Law students including S.J.D. 2023 candidate Umair Saleem, have designed and launched this first on-line Repository on the judicial decisions and litigation pleadings, related to the Bill of Rights Article I, Section 19. Thanks also go to Gabe Terrizzi and Greg Likens for their technical assistance in making this Repository come to life.