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  • Writer's picturerichelletanner

My opinion on your opinion: adversarial legalism

Kagan’s explanation of adversarial legalism was a realization of what the environmental studies classes at USC have outlined as the barrier to environmental legislation. The question posed in class on Tuesday solicited many answers from the class, but I disagreed with many of them, based mainly on the principle of the US adversarial legal system. Even though I completely agree that there is a lot to be done for environmental justice on the domestic front, I don’t think that money is best spent supporting the environmental justice organizations in the US. For the money to be useful when given to local organizations, there needs to be more of a consensus from all parties in our legislation on environmental justice and resolving problems concerning the environment – something that does not exist and is perpetrated by the adversarial system. It costs more money and takes more time to make changes in local communities than in developing countries where those sorts of barriers don’t exist. Kagan’s argument regarding adversarial legalism is a great counterargument to the video that we watched in class on Tuesday. Despite my firm beliefs that environmentalism needs to play a much larger part in today’s society, I don’t think that change will be realized unless more parties accept the reality that it is necessary for our survival as a society, thus alleviating the pressure of the adversarial legal system.

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