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Ninth Circuit Dismisses Climate Suit Brought by Children against the United States

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A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit today dismissed the “children’s crusade” global warming case.  In a 2-1 ruling, the court held that the plaintiffs, consisting of several young persons, an environmental organization, and a “representative of future generations”) did not have standing to pursue the claimed violation of their constitutional rights, including their alleged right to a “climate system capable of sustaining human life.”

The opinion, Juliana v. United States, can be found at http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2020/01/17/18-36082.pdf

CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman stated:

”We applaud the majority’s dismissal of this case. The court correctly understood that a lawsuit aimed at imposing a national plan to eliminate fossil fuel emissions and reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide would push the court far beyond its constitutional powers. It would require the court to substitute its judgment for that of Congress and the Administration on an unprecedented scale. However, it is unfortunate that, in coming to this conclusion, the court summarized the scientific evidence on climate change in such apocalyptic terms. The Department of Justice should have made clear that its failure to contest this evidence did not mean that the evidence was incontestable. Hopefully, future litigation on this issue will involve a more measured assessment of climate reality.”