Professor Reed Benson Quoted in NY Times Article
October 2, 2017 - Tamara Williams
In “Corporations Have Rights. Why Shouldn’t Rivers?” reporter Julie Turkewitz says that, “Does a river – or a plant, or a forest – have rights?” is the essential question for a first-of-its-kind federal lawsuit seeking personhood rights for the Colorado River.
Environmental cases are typically brought by environmental groups and/or individuals, but this case seeks to establish that the river itself can sue to protect its ecosystem.
Commenting on the lawsuit, Benson stated, “I don’t think it’s laughable, but I think it’s a long shot in more ways than one.” The threshold problem is that a federal court case must be brought by a person with “standing” to sue, and a river would not qualify under established Supreme Court precedent.
Benson was one of two law professors interviewed for the story, along with Harvard’s Jody Freeman.