This year marks the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, one of the oldest environmental regulatory statutes in the United States. It is illegal to “take” or “kill” any migratory bird covered by the Act. But many of the economic and industrial assumptions that undergirded the Act in 1918 have changed dramatically. Although it is undisputed that hunting protected birds is prohibited, circuit courts split on whether so-called “incidental takings” fall within the scope of the Act. The uncertainty inherent in this disagreement harms public and private interests alike—not to mention migratory birds. Many of the most important environmental statutes are also aging and may soon face similar interpretive issues. This Note argues that, to address inherent problems with aging environmental statutes, courts should adopt a jurisprudential preference for fidelity to each statute’s purpose.
Patrick G. Maroun,
More than Birds: Developing a New Environmental Jurisprudence Through the Migratory Bird Treaty Act,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol117/iss4/5