March 01, 2018

Recognizing the Rights of Nature: Lofty Rhetoric or Legal Revolution?

David R. Boyd

In 1972, Professor Christopher Stone wrote a provocative article called, “Should Trees Have Standing?” for the Southern California Law Review. Christopher D. Stone, Should Trees Have Standing? Law, Morality and the Environment, 45 S. Cal. L. Rev. 450 (1972). The article caught the eye of U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Douglas just as the court was considering a Sierra Club lawsuit seeking to overturn the approval of a proposed ski resort in California’s wild Mineral King Valley. At issue was the question of whether the Sierra Club had standing to bring such a case.

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