Anthony Moffa

Associate Professor of Law, University of Maine
Chapter Member: Maine SSN
Areas of Expertise:

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About Anthony

Moffa teaches, researches, and writes primarily about environmental law and policy.  He explores how policymakers, and the public, can expand their perspective on environmental law by tracing its connections to concepts from more traditional legal subjects (e.g., property and criminal law) and to other disciplines. Moffa is involved with Conservation Law Foundation, Our Children’s Trust, 350 Maine, Portland Trails, and Scarborough Land Trust.  

In the News

Opinion: "Corporate Polluters Should Pay the Tab for Maine’s Climate Damages," Anthony Moffa, Maine Voices, July 27, 2021.
Opinion: "Zinke has Only One Legal Option for Katahdin Woods and Waters: Retain its Monument Status," Anthony Moffa (with Sarah Schindler), Bangor Daily News, October 15, 2017.
Opinion: "Shrinking and Altering National Monuments: Experts assess Interior Secretary Zinke's Proposals," Anthony Moffa, San Francisco Chronicle, September 27, 2017.
Opinion: "Shrinking and Altering National Monuments: Experts Assess Interior Secretary Zinke’s Proposals," Anthony Moffa (with Robert B. Keiter, Sarah Schindler, and Syma A. Ebbin), The Conversation, September 27, 2017.


"Traditional Ecological Rulemaking" Stanford Environmental Law Journal 35, no. 2 (2016): 102-155.

Analyzes the potential of Traditional Ecological Rulemaking (TEK), passed down through generations of indigenous peoples, to inform environmental governance from an entirely new perspective. Explores the opportunities presented by increased reliance on TEK by the environmental administrative state, as well as the inevitable challenges to TEK-based actions, both practical and legal. 

"Freedom from the Costs of Trade: A Principled Argument against Dormant Commerce Clause Scrutiny of Goods Movement Policies" (with Stephanie L. Safdi). NYU Environmental Law Journal 21, no. 2 (2014): 344-407.

Argues that Dormant Commerce Clause doctrine, in its contemporary iterations, fails to account for, and requires reexamination in light of, the gross environmental and social externalities now known to be associated with contemporary goods movement. Lacking a coherent operative principle, the Dormant Commerce Clause should give way to state policies that encourage diverse local economies and protect social and environmental interests jeopardized by the mass movement of goods.

"Wasting the Planet: What a Storied Doctrine of Property Brings to Bear on Environmental Law and Climate Chang" Journal of Environmental Law and Litigation 27, no. 2 (2012): 459-498.

The doctrine of waste in Anglo-American property law has long been a vehicle for those with an interest in the future to restrict resource-depleting activities in the present, rendering it the manifestation of sustainability as a concrete legal obligation. It is through this doctrine, then, that the rich concept of sustainability as it applies to climate change policymaking can be best understood.  I explore the early history and development of the doctrine of waste in England and the United States, as well as the philosophical discourse surrounding equitable obligations to future generations, to provide much-needed non-partisan legal and moral grounding for environmental policymaking.

"Why Climate Change Collective Action has Failed and What Needs to be Done within and without the Trade Regime" (with Daniel C. Esty). Journal of International Economic Law 15, no. 3 (2012): 777-791.

Provides a diagnostic profile of the current environmental regime’s failure in order to define institutional capacities for responding to global scale collective action problems and the specific challenges of climate change. 

"Two Competing Models of Activism, One Goal: A Case Study of Anti-Whaling Campaigns in the Southern Ocean" Yale Journal of International Law 37, no. 1 (2012): 201-214.

Discusses the two types of environmental campaigns in the Southern Ocean that have targeted the whaling industry. One approach, which exemplifies what I define as “protest” activism, utilizes consumer boycotts and protests to encourage divestment from the industry. The other approach, which exemplifies what I define as “interventionist” activism, uses a fleet of ships to directly intervene in and obstruct whaling operations in the Southern Ocean.