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Lawsuit Would Recognize the Human Rights of the Colorado River

Corporations have rights in the United States, and an organization called Deep Green Resistance is going to federal court in Colorado to argue that rivers should too.
October 2, 2017, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Hoover Dam Downstream

The movement to give rivers the rights of humans has arrived in the United States—the movement has already found success in countries as diverse as Colombia, India, and New Zealand.

Julie Turkewitz reports: "a Denver lawyer and a far-left environmental group are asking a judge to recognize the Colorado River as a person." Turkewitz explains the potential consequence of the lawsuit:

If successful, it could upend environmental law, possibly allowing the redwood forests, the Rocky Mountains or the deserts of Nevada to sue individuals, corporations and governments over resource pollution or depletion. Future lawsuits in its mold might seek to block pipelines, golf courses or housing developments and force everyone from agriculture executives to mayors to rethink how they treat the environment.

A Federal District Court in Denver will consider the lawsuit, which some legal experts say has a slim chance, despite the precedent set in other countries. The article includes insight into the political context of environmentalism in Colorado and other states in the Colorado River watershed, as well as some soundbites that preview the response of regional politicians.

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 in The New York Times
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