Paul Stewart, a second-year student at Wayne State University Law School, has won the Environmental Law Institute’s national 2013-14 Beveridge & Diamond Constitutional Environmental Law Writing Competition.
His winning entry, The Overlooked Vulnerabilities of State-Level Greenhouse Gas Regulations Under Pike Balancing and Possibilities for Addressing Those Vulnerabilities, assesses the viability of state regulations on greenhouse gas emissions in the face of legal challenges under the Dormant Commerce Clause, a legal doctrine that restricts states from passing laws that negatively impact interstate commerce. “Pike balancing” – named for a 1970 Supreme Court decision in Pike v. Bruce Church Inc. – refers to a court using “the Pike test” to evaluate if a state regulation places more negative impact on interstate commerce than the regulation offers benefit to the state.
“(His) paper takes a fresh look at state energy regulations under the Pike test,” said Jay Austin, director of the Environmental Law Institute’s Program on the Constitution, Courts and Legislation. “It presents a nuanced and thoughtful analysis of how states can defend their efforts to address climate change under the Dormant Commerce Clause.”
The paper will be published in the Environmental Law Institute’s Environmental Law Reporter, and Paul will also receive a cash award. Paul has been a fantastic student and good friend at Wayne Law, and I’m grateful I had the opportunity to work with him on this paper. He has worked in our Transnational Environmental Law Clinic and was elected editor-in-chief of the 2014-15 Wayne Law Review editorial board. Huge congrats to Paul and thanks to the Environmental Law Institute for sponsoring the competition and bringing students’ work into national policy discussions.