The Corner

Law & the Courts

Florida Bill to Ban ‘Nature Rights’

I have been warning that “nature rights” would soon become part of the Democratic Party’s environmental platform. That hasn’t happened at the national party level — yet. But Florida’s Democratic Party has embraced the idea that nature should have rights that anyone can sue to enforce in its official platform.

Such a move would bring development and economic activity using the land to a screeching halt and open the door for environmentalist shakedown artists to soak private enterprise for “donations” as a means of avoiding litigation.

Right now, nature-rights laws in the U.S. are being passed at the municipal level, with more than 30 cities already passing such laws. Thus, I am very pleased that Florida Republican state representative Blaise Ingoglia has authored a bill to outlaw municipalities from passing nature-rights laws in the Sunshine State. From HB 1199:

A local government regulation, ordinance, code, rule, comprehensive plan, charter, or any other provision of law may not recognize or grant any legal rights to a plant, an animal, a body of water, or any other part of the natural environment that is not a person or political subdivision…or grant such person or political subdivision any specific rights relating to the natural environment not otherwise authorized in general law or specifically granted in the State Constitution.

It’s a sign of the times that such laws are necessary — as Ohio learned last year. I would prefer a law or constitutional amendment barring nature rights in the state altogether. But this will do.

The bill has been doing well in committee hearings. I hope it is soon on the governor’s desk. Bravo, Representative Ingoglia!

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