Local resistance to the relocation of a U.S. military base to a Bay threatening an endangered sea mammal off the coast of the island of Okinawa raises important issues regarding the extraterritoriality of U.S. environmental laws, the role of the courts in reviewing military operations and ultimately environmental justice. Federal courts continue inconsistently to sort out the extraterritoriality of U.S. laws, including environmental laws. Strong arguments remain that the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act should also apply to the U.S. military’s actions in Okinawa. Although the modern U.S. Supreme Court has reversed earlier cases and given great deference to military operations, a form of judicial militarism, environmental justice demands and case laws allows these environmental laws to shape U.S. military conduct on Okinawa and protect its environment.
28 Tul. Envtl. L.J. 53 (2014)