University of San Diego

San Diego Journal of Climate & Energy Law

Library of Congress Authority File


This Comment converges at the intersection of Constitutional Law and Climate Law. It seeks to explore six various jurisprudential perspectives and juridical decision-making models in their application to the modern threat of climate change. Based in some part on Professor Christopher Stone’s seminal work Should Trees Have Standing? and Professor Roy Brooks’ book Structures of Judicial Decision Making from Legal Formalism to Critical Theory, I attempt to provide insight and new lenses by which the legal scholar may view the legal debate on climate change.

I first digest, through six judicial perspectives, a rather important climate law Supreme Court case that first broke the mold of traditional “standing” doctrine. The underlying values and crucial subtext of the various “Justices” are spoken into and through their perspectives in a quasi-judicial voice. I then critique these perspectives to challenge their implications and consequences. And last, I comment on a recent Ninth Circuit case directly on point that illustrates the conflict and tension between structural Constitutional doctrine and judicial desire for a living Document for an evolving world environment. We begin in 2007.