Legal Analysts

Showing posts with label statewide ballot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label statewide ballot. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Should NYer's have a Constitutional Right to Clean Air and Water, and a Healthful Environment?

This question is on the ballot on November 2nd.

The answer seems simple, but with early voting starting in New York this Saturday, October 23rd, have you considered the implications of Proposal 2 of the statewide ballot, to make New Yorkers have a constitutional right to "clean air and water, and a healthful environment?"

In 1996, the highest court in New York, the Court of Appeals, explained that a constitutional right may provide for an "action for damages for violation... against a government or individual defendants." However, the Court did not say that all constitutional violations give way to a damages action, in that case, Brown v. State. So, it remains unclear if courts will permit private citizens to be awarded damages from polluters if Proposal 2 is passed in the statewide ballot. That being said, Senator Robert Jackson, who sponsored Proposal 2, believes that the amendment will give New Yorkers "the right to take legal action for a clean environment," per BallotPedia

Do you think that private citizens should be awarded damages for suing companies that damage our clean air, water and a healthful environment? Shouldn't the money go back to the State to fix the damage rather than into a private individual's pocket? 

Where is the line? 

Should truck drivers be sued if they don't switch to electric vehicles? 

How about private jet passengers? 

Shouldn't this be thought-out before we open the private lawsuit free-for-all?