Congress has Spoken

UW Law professor Sanne Knudsen on the need for Congress to enact new legislation to strengthen and restate its commitment to environmental protection.


Over the last half century, Congress has passed strong laws relating to environmental protection, covering a range of resources and industries. Despite these bold and comprehensive laws, implementation can be challenging, especially when it comes to the court system’s interpretation of them.

Sanne Knudsen, the Stimson Bullitt Endowed Professor of Environmental Law at UW Law, calls out the United States Supreme Court as being hostile or apathetic towards environmental laws, despite their often-strong language. She believes environmental law is a rational response to the fact that earth has finite resources and they need to be protected.

In this episode, Professor Knudsen calls on Congress to enact the Environmental Judicial Review Act — as she calls it — to remind the courts that Congress passes environmental legislation to ensure environmental protection. By passing a comprehensive act, Congress could reaffirm the values and strength of existing environmental laws, while also addressing pressing issues such as climate change.

Overcast icon SoundCloud icon Google Podcasts icon Podcasts icon Spotify icon RSS icon