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ELS Book Club and Author Talk: Professor Oliver Houck—The Most Dangerous Branch
November 9 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Our guest, Oliver Houck, is a Professor Emeritus and David Boies Chair in Public Interest Law at Tulane University. He is publishing a book detailing the Supreme Court’s treatment of environmental law, featuring fourteen of its worst cases, covering NEPA, the Clean Water and Air Acts, and several land management statues. The Court’s hostility to environmental programs became yet more apparent this last term, with opinions stifling federal regulations for wetlands protection and climate change.
He would like to raise questions with us as well, including where this animus has come from, and what might be done about the Court more generally.
Moderator: Gary Lucks – Partner, Bay Law Group
Speakers: Oliver Houck – Professor Emeritus, Tulane University Law
Professor Oliver Houck is professor Emeritus at Tulane law where he has taught environmental law for the past four decades. He is active in legal proceedings involving wildlife, wetland, coastal and pollution issues and publishes regularly on these and related topics.
He has published several books, including Taking Back Eden (on environmental lawsuits abroad), Down on the Batture (on the Lower Mississippi River),The Clean Water Act TMDL Program (pollution control), and most recently Downstream Toward Home (on rivers of North America). He also has written extensively for academic journals and general interest publications.
Houck served as a federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C., and as National Wildlife Federation general counsel and vice president before joining the Tulane law faculty in 1981. He has since served on the boards of Defenders of Wildlife, the Environmental Law Institute and the Environmental Defense Fund, an advisory board of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and two committees of the National Science Foundation. He has also founded several public interest organizations in Louisiana and at Tulane Law School and has consulted on the development of environmental law in Cuba and other Latin American countries.
Houck’s classes emphasize relationships between ecology and law, and he regularly takes students on field trips into coastal ecosystems, the Pearl and Atchafalaya swamps and other natural areas. He has received the law school’s Felix Frankfurter Distinguished Teacher Award was named a recipient of the Sumter Marks Award in 2000 and 2002 for his publications. He also has been honored with the New Orleans Press Club Award, the Tulane University Graduate Teaching Award and the 2005 Distinguished Achievement Award from the American Bar Association’s Environmental Section.
Mr. Gary Lucks JD, CPEA is a partner at Bay Law Group. He has deep expertise in environmental, health, and safety (EHS) law, legislative affairs, and sustainability strategy. He has over 38 years of experience advising Fortune 500 clients in most industry sectors. He is a licensed attorney, a scientist, and a Certified Professional Environmental Auditor (CPEA) who has completed or overseen close to 500 major EHS compliance audits across the country and overseas. He wrote environmental policy briefing papers for Governor Newsom, Senator Feinstein, Senator Steinberg, State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, and Marin County Supervisor Charles McGlashan. Mr. Lucks has published extensively on environmental law, legislation, and policy. He co-wrote a book on environmental law (California Environmental Law and Policy: A Practical Guide https://solano.com/products/california-environmental-law-and-policy).