Noga Morag-Levine

Noga Morag-Levine
[Hi-Res Photo]
Professor of Law & The George Roumell Faculty Scholar
Law College Building
648 N. Shaw Lane Rm 319
East Lansing, MI 48824-1300

  • Biography

    Professor Morag-Levine teaches courses in Environmental Law and the first-year class on Constitutional Law and the Regulatory State. Her scholarship combines environmental regulation, legal history, and comparative law with a focus on the influence of legal traditions and their associated administrative-law principles on transnational differences in environmental and health and safety regulation. Her research considers this question across various periods in British and American history, as well as in contemporary environmental debates. Professor Morag-Levine is the author of Chasing the Wind: Regulating Air Pollution in the Common Law State (Princeton University Press, 2003). Her recent and forthcoming articles include: “Chemical Pollution and Regulatory Choices at the Start of Industrialization: Comparing France and Britain” (American Journal of Comparative Law, forthcoming); “Sociological Jurisprudence and the Spirit of the Common Law” (The Oxford Handbook of Historical Legal Research, 2018); and “The History of Precaution” (American Journal of Comparative Law, 2014). Her current book project (working title: Pollution, Nuisance, and Precaution: Legal Traditions in Environmental History) links contemporary differences between European and American environmental risk regulation to the regulatory paradigms of the Continental civil law and Anglo-American common law traditions.

    Professor Morag-Levine graduated cum laude from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty of Law and holds a Ph.D. in Jurisprudence and Social Policy from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to joining the Michigan State College of Law in 2004 she was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan, a Visiting Fellow in the Program on Law and Public Affairs at Princeton University, and a Lady Davis Fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

  • Degrees

    Ph.D. 1995, University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), Jurisprudence and Social Policy; LL.B. magna cum laude, 1987, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; A.B. 1983, with high honors, University of California, Berkeley

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Courses

    Courts and Social Policy Seminar
    (Formerly DCL 593) This course examines the policy-making function of courts. The semester will begin with discussion of the theoretical arguments for and against judicial intervention in policy disputes. Next we'll turn to empirical studies of the impact of judicial intervention in a number of policy spheres: school integration, school finance, comparable pay, pollution control, prison conditions and abortion. Throughout our discussion will revolve around two sets of questions. The first will pertain to what distinguishes judicial policy making from that of legislatures and agencies. The second will consider the evidence on the capacity of courts to shape and implement policy reforms.

    Environmental Law
    (Formerly DCL 323) This course provides an introduction to the legal principles, institutions, and policy debates central to American environmental regulation. The course begins with an overview of economical and ethical justifications for environmental regulation, historical and contemporary common-law-based approaches to environmental problems, and the evolution of federal environmental law. Next the course surveys the regulatory programs enacted under major environmental statutes, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Clean Air Act (CAA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), and the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The course will focus in this connection on differences in the statutory criteria used to determine the stringency of regulation (risk-based, technology-based, and cost-benefit standards), and the choice between direct regulation and economic-incentive-based means of meeting environmental goals. Finally, discussion will turn to the challenges of environmental enforcement, and the role of agencies, courts and citizens groups in the implementation of environmental law.

    Torts I
    (Formerly DCl 141) The study of the protection that the law affords against interference by others with one's person, property or intangible interest. It is broadly divisible into three areas of liability: intentional interference, negligence and strict liability. Specific tort actions and defenses are analyzed. Each is examined in the context of underlying social and economic factors that provide the framework in which law develops and social conflict is managed.

  • Publications

    Law Faculty Repository »

    SSRN Author Page »


    Chasing the Wind: Regulating Air Pollution in the Common Law State (Princeton University Press 2003, paperback 2005)

    Book Chapter

    The Politics of Imported Rights: Transplantation and Transformation in an Israeli Environmental Cause Lawyering Organization, in Cause Lawyering and the State in a Global Era (A. Sarat & S. Scheingold eds., Oxford University Press 2001)

    Journal Articles

    Fact, Formalism and the Brandeis Brief: The Making of a Myth, University of Illinois Law Review 59-101 (2013)

    Is Precautionary Regulation a Civil Law Instrument: Lessons from the History of the Alkali Act. 23 Journal of Environmental Law 1-43 (2011)

    Common Law, Civil Law, and the Administrative State: From Coke to Lochner, 24 Constitutional Commentary 601, (2007)

    The Problem of Pollution Hotspots: Pollution Markets, Coase, and Common Law, 17 Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy 161 (2007)

    Judges, Legislators, and Europe's Law: Common-Law Constitutionalism and Foreign Precedents, 65 Maryland Law Review 32 (2006)

    Partners No More: Relational Transformation and the Turn to Litigation in Two Conservationist Organizations, 37 Law and Society Review 457 (2003)

    Imported Problem Definitions, Legal Culture and the Local Dynamics of Israeli Abortion Politics, 5 (2) Israel Affairs 225 (1999). Also published in Israel the Dynamics of Change and Continuity (David Levy-Faur, Gabriel Sheffer and David Vogel eds., Frank Cass Publishers, 1999) and in Gender and Rights (Deborah L. Rhode and Carol Sanger eds., Ashgate Publishing, 2005).

    Between Choice and Sacrifice: Constructions of Community Consent in Reactive Air Pollution Regulation, 28 (5) Law and Society Review 1035 (1994)

    Abortion in Israel: Community, Rights and the Context of Compromise, 19 (2) Law and Social Inquiry 313 (1994)