Hope Babcock


Director, Institute for Public Representation Environmental Law Clinic, Professor of Law

B.A., Smith College; LL.B., Yale

Areas of Expertise:

Clinical Education, Environmental Law

Professor Babcock served as general counsel to the National Audubon Society from 1987-91 and as deputy general counsel and Director of Audubon's Public Lands and...

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Professor Babcock served as general counsel to the National Audubon Society from 1987-91 and as deputy general counsel and Director of Audubon's Public Lands and Water Program from 1981-87. Previously, she was a partner with Blum, Nash & Railsback, where she focused on energy and environmental issues, and an associate at LeBoeuf, Lamb, Leiby & MacRae where she represented utilities in the nuclear licensing process. From 1977-79, she served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy and Minerals in the U.S. Department of the Interior. Professor Babcock has taught environmental and natural resources law as a visiting professor at Pace University Law School and as an adjunct at the University of Pennsylvania, Yale, Catholic University, and Antioch law schools. Professor Babcock was a member of the Standing Committee on Environmental Law of the American Bar Association, and served on the Clinton-Gore Transition Team.

Recent Scholarship

Forthcoming Works and Works in Progress

  • Hope M. Babcock, Using the Federal Public Trust Doctrine to Fill Gaps in the Legal Systems Protecting Migrating Wildlife from the Effects of Climate Change, Neb. L. Rev. (forthcoming).   

Contributions to Law Reviews and Other Scholarly Journals

  • Hope M. Babcock, A Brook with Legal Rights: The Rights of Nature in Court, 43 Ecology L.Q. 1-51 (2016).    [HEIN] [W]
  • Hope M. Babcock, Illegal Marijuana Cultivation on Public Lands: Our Federalism on a Very Bad Trip, 43 Ecology L.Q. 723-779 (2016).    [W]
  • Hope M. Babcock, Is Using the Public Trust Doctrine To Protect Public Parkland from Visual Pollution Justifiable Doctrinal Creep?, 42 Ecology L.Q. 1-35 (2015).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law] [WWW]
View all scholarship

All Scholarship 1991 - Present

Forthcoming Works and Works in Progress

  • Hope M. Babcock, Using the Federal Public Trust Doctrine to Fill Gaps in the Legal Systems Protecting Migrating Wildlife from the Effects of Climate Change, Neb. L. Rev. (forthcoming).   

Contributions to Law Reviews and Other Scholarly Journals

  • Hope M. Babcock, A Brook with Legal Rights: The Rights of Nature in Court, 43 Ecology L.Q. 1-51 (2016).    [HEIN] [W]
  • Hope M. Babcock, Illegal Marijuana Cultivation on Public Lands: Our Federalism on a Very Bad Trip, 43 Ecology L.Q. 723-779 (2016).    [W]
  • Hope M. Babcock, Is Using the Public Trust Doctrine To Protect Public Parkland from Visual Pollution Justifiable Doctrinal Creep?, 42 Ecology L.Q. 1-35 (2015).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law] [WWW]
  • Hope M. Babcock, What Can Be Done, If Anything, About the Dangerous Penchant of Public Trust Scholars to Overextend Joseph Sax’s Original Conception: Have We Produced a Bridge Too Far?, 23 N.Y.U. Envtl. L.J. 390-433 (2015).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Hope M. Babcock, A Possible Solution to the Problem of Diminishing Tribal Sovereignty, 90 N.D. L. Rev. 13-86 (2014).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law] [WWW]
  • Hope M. Babcock, Dismissal of the Certiorari Petition in Pacific Rivers Council: A Bullet Dodged in the Supreme Court's War Against Public Challenges to Flawed Federal Land Use Planning, 32 Va. Envtl. L.J. 226-258 (2014).    [HEIN] [W] [WWW]
  • Hope M. Babcock, How the Supreme Court Uses the Certiorari Process in the Ninth Circuit To Further Its Pro-Business Agenda: A Strange Pas de Deux with an Unfortunate Coda, 41 Ecology L.Q. 653-682 (2014).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Hope M. Babcock, “[This] I Know from My Grandfather”: The Battle for Admissibility of Indigenous Oral History as Proof of Tribal Land Claims, 37 Am. Indian L. Rev. 19-61 (2013).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Hope M. Babcock, Putting a Price on Whales To Save Them: What Do Morals Have To Do with It?, 43 Envtl. L. 1-33 (2013).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law] [WWW]
  • Hope M. Babcock, The Sad Story of the Northern Rocky Mountain Gray Wolf Reintroduction Program, 24 Fordham Envtl. L. Rev. 25-62 (2013).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Hope M. Babcock, Why Changing Norms Is a More Just Solution to the Failed International Regulatory Regime To Protect Whales than a Trading Program in Whale Shares, 32 Stan. Envtl. L.J. 3-85 (2013).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Hope M. Babcock, A Risky Business: Generation of Nuclear Power and Deepwater Drilling for Offshore Oil and Gas, 37 Colum. J. Envtl. L. 63-149 (2012).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law] [WWW]
  • Hope M. Babcock, Can Vermont Put the Nuclear Genie Back in the Bottle?: A Test of Congressional Preemptive Power, 39 Ecology L.Q. 691-772 (2012).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Hope M. Babcock, Corporate Environmental Social Responsibility: Corporate "Greenwashing" or a Corporate Culture Game Changer?, 21 Fordham Envtl. L. Rev. 1-78 (2010).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Hope M. Babcock, How Judicial Hostility Toward Environmental Claims and Intimidation Tactics by Lawyers Have Formed the Perfect Storm Against Environmental Clinics: What's the Big Deal About Students and Chickens Anyway?, 25 J. Envtl. L. & Litig. 249-301 (2010).    [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Hope M. Babcock, The Stories We Tell, and Have Told, About Tribal Sovereignty: Legal Fictions at Their Most Pernicious, 55 Vill. L. Rev. 803-831 (2010).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Hope M. Babcock, Assuming Personal Responsibility for Improving the Environment: Moving Toward a New Environmental Norm, 33 Harv. Envtl. L. Rev. 117-175 (2009).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Hope M. Babcock, Civic Republicanism Provides Theoretical Support for Making Individuals More Environmentally Responsible, 23 Notre Dame J.L. Ethics & Pub. Pol'y 515-536 (2009).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Hope M. Babcock, Global Climate Change: A Civic Republican Moment for Achieving Broader Changes in Environmental Behavior, 26 Pace Envtl. L. Rev. 1-18 (2009).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Hope M. Babcock, Responsible Environmental Behavior, Energy Conservation, and Compact Fluorescent Bulbs: You Can Lead a Horse to Water, But Can You Make It Drink?, 37 Hofstra L. Rev. 943-974 (2009).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Hope M. Babcock, The Problem with Particularized Injury: The Disjuncture Between Broad-Based Environmental Harm and Standing Jurisprudence, 25 J. Land Use & Envtl. L. 1-18 (2009).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Hope M. Babcock, The Public Trust Doctrine: What a Tall Tale They Tell, 61 S.C. L. Rev. 393-414 (2009).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Hope M. Babcock, Dual Regulation, Collaborative Management, or Layered Federalism: Can Cooperative Federalism Models from Other Laws Save Our Public Lands?, 14 Hastings W.-Nw. J. Envtl. L. & Pol'y 449-482 (2008).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Hope M. Babcock, The National Environmental Policy Act in the Urban Environment: Oxymoron or a Useful Tool to Combat the Destruction of Neighborhoods and Urban Sprawl?, 23 J. Envtl. L. & Litig. 1-33 (2008).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Hope M. Babcock, Administering the Clean Water Act: Do Regulators Have "Bigger Fish to Fry" When it Comes to Addressing the Practice of Chumming on the Chesapeake Bay?, 21 Tul. Envtl. L.J. 1-50 (2007).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Hope M. Babcock, Chumming on the Chesapeake Bay and Complexity Theory: Why the Precautionary Principle, Not Cost-Benefit Analysis, Makes More Sense as a Regulatory Approach, 82 Wash. L. Rev. 505-532 (2007).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Hope M. Babcock, Grotius, Ocean Fish Ranching, and the Public Trust Doctrine: Ride 'Em Charlie Tuna, 26 Stan. Envtl. L.J. 3-76 (2007).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Hope M. Babcock, National Security and Environmental Laws: A Clear and Present Danger?, 25 Va. Envtl. L.J. 105-156 (2007).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Hope M. Babcock, Reserved Indian Water Rights in Riparian Jurisdictions: Water, Water Everywhere, Perhaps Some Drops for Us, 91 Cornell L. Rev. 1203-1260 (2006).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Hope M. Babcock, A Civic-Republican Vision of "Domestic Dependent Nations" in the Twenty-First Century: Tribal Sovereignty Re-Envisioned, Reinvigorated, and Re-Empowered, 2005 Utah L. Rev. 443-571.    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Hope M. Babcock, The Effect of the United States Supreme Court's Eleventh Amendment Jurisprudence on Clean Water Act Citizen Suits: Muddied Waters, 83 Or. L. Rev. 47-106 (2004).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Hope M. Babcock, The Effect of the Supreme Court's Eleventh Amendment Jurisprudence on Environmental Citizen Suits: Gotcha!, 10 Widener L. Rev. 205-217 (2003).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Hope M. Babcock, Should Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council Protect Where the Wild Things Are? Of Beavers, Bob-o-Links, and Other Things That Go Bump in the Night, 85 Iowa L. Rev. 849-905 (2000).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]

U.S. Supreme Court Briefs

  • Brief of Amici Curiae Walter F. Mondale, St. Croix River Ass'n, & American Rivers in Support of Respondents, Murr v. Wisconsin, No. 15-214 (U.S. June 17, 2016).   
  • Brief of Amicus Curiae Charles J. Cicchetti in Support of Petitioners, FERC v. Elec. Power Supply Ass'n, Nos. 14-840, 14-841 (U.S. July 16, 2015).   
  • Brief of Amicus Curiae American Thoracic Society in Support of Respondents, Utility Air Regulatory Grp v. Envtl Protection Agency, Nos. 12-1146, 12-1248, 12-1254, 12-1268, 12-1269, 12-1272 (U.S. Jan. 28, 2014).   
  • Brief of Environmental Law Professors as Amici Curiae in Support of Respondents, American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut, No. 10-174 (U.S. Mar. 18, 2011).   
  • Brief of Amici Curiae Dinah Bear, Robert Glicksman, Oliver Houck, Daniel Mandelker, Thomas McGarity, Robert Percival, Zygmunt Plater, Nicholas Robinson, and Gary Widman in Support of Respondents, Monsanto Co. v. Geertson Seed Farms, No. 09-475 (U.S. Apr. 5, 2010).    [W]
  • Brief for American Lung Association, American Thoracic Society, American Association for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, National Association for the Medical Direction of Respitory Care, and American College of Chest Physicians as Amici Curiae Supporting Petitioners, Environmental Defense v. Duke Energy Corporation, No. 05-848 (U.S. Jul. 21, 2006).    [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Brief for American Public Health Association, American Lung Association and Physicians for Social Responsibility as Amici Curiae Supporting Respondents, Department of Transportation v. Public Citizen, No. 03-358 (U.S. Mar. 12, 2004).    [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Brief for Amici Curiae American Public Health Association, American Lung Association and Physicians, Department of Transportation v. Public Citizen, No. 03-358 (U.S. Mar. 12, 2004).    [W]
  • Brief of Nueces County, Texas et al. as Amici Curiae Supporting Respondent, Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council, No. 91-453 (Oct. term 1991).    [W]

Congressional Testimony

  • Federal Forest Management, Part 2: Hearing Before the S. Comm. on Energy & Natural Res., 104th Cong., Oct. 26, 1995 (Statement of Hope M. Babcock) (CIS-No.: 96-S311-11.2).   
Recent scholarship

In the News

"One Rule Forward, Two Rules Back," coverage in Grist, January 31, 2017, featuring Professor Hope Babcock and Professor William Buzbee.

Farmers Sue USDA Over Organic Food Board,” coverage in Courthouse News Service, April 20, 2016, mentioning Professor Hope Babcock, director of the Institute for Public Representation Environmental Law Clinic.

"Enviros Tell DC Circ. $3.8B LNG Project Requires 2nd Look," coverage in Law360, November 23, 2015, featuring Professor Hope M. Babcock.

"Oswego Lake lawsuit appeal adds some 'friends'," coverage in Lake Oswego Review, July 17, 2014, featuring Professor Hope Babcock, co-director, Institute for Public Representation. 

All News

"One Rule Forward, Two Rules Back," coverage in Grist, January 31, 2017, featuring Professor Hope Babcock and Professor William Buzbee.

Farmers Sue USDA Over Organic Food Board,” coverage in Courthouse News Service, April 20, 2016, mentioning Professor Hope Babcock, director of the Institute for Public Representation Environmental Law Clinic.

"Enviros Tell DC Circ. $3.8B LNG Project Requires 2nd Look," coverage in Law360, November 23, 2015, featuring Professor Hope M. Babcock.

"Oswego Lake lawsuit appeal adds some 'friends'," coverage in Lake Oswego Review, July 17, 2014, featuring Professor Hope Babcock, co-director, Institute for Public Representation. 

Recent News