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Fri Jan 17, 2020, 05:26 PM

US court dismisses suit by youths over climate change

Source: AP

By GILLIAN FLACCUS

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal appeals court on Friday dismissed a lawsuit by 21 young people who claimed the U.S. government’s climate policies and reliance on fossil fuels harms them, jeopardizes their future and violates their constitutional rights, potentially bringing an end to a long-running legal battle that activists saw as an important front in the war against environmental degradation.

The Oregon-based youth advocacy group Our Children’s Trust filed the lawsuit in 2015 in Eugene on behalf of the youngsters. It sought an injunction ordering the government to implement a plan to phase out fossil fuel emissions and draw down atmospheric carbon dioxide emission. The case had bounced around the federal courts for five years and multiple trial dates were canceled.

The 2-1 vote for dismissal was a major blow for the climate activists, who have filed numerous similar cases in state and federal courts and currently have nine cases pending in state courts from Alaska to New Mexico.

It wasn’t immediately clear if any further legal avenues were open to the plaintiffs and their attorneys. Our Children’s Trust and Earth Guardians did not immediately respond to telephone messages seeking comment.



FILE - In this July 18, 2018, file photo, lawyers and youth plaintiffs lineup behind a banner after a hearing before Federal District Court Judge Ann Aiken between lawyers for the Trump Administration and the so called Climate Kids in Federal Court in Eugene, Ore. A federal appeals court on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, dismissed a lawsuit by 21 young people who claimed the U.S. government's climate policy harms them and jeopardizes their future. (Chris Pietsch/The Register-Guard via AP, File)


Read more: https://apnews.com/caa51d668ed6ee0008cb1118c3290150

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Fri Jan 17, 2020, 05:38 PM

1. I am

reading that in other countries there is legal support for the notion that government, which sets policy, has a duty to set it such as to guarantee the future of the society. If US courts rule this way, there will be little room for peaceful solution. Pipeline protests will pale in comparison to the level of civil disobedience on this issue I think.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Fri Jan 17, 2020, 05:50 PM

2. looking for the line that says the two majority judges were appointed

by Republicans and the dissenter was appointed by a Democrat.
I don't see anything, but I am guessing that's a possibility.

Elections have consequences.

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Response to rurallib (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 17, 2020, 05:54 PM

3. All three judges are Obama appointees

Assumptions also have consequences.

Link to the opinion: http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2020/01/17/18-36082.pdf

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Response to onenote (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 17, 2020, 08:52 PM

6. thank you - that is why I was looking for who appointed them.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Fri Jan 17, 2020, 05:55 PM

4. The federal judiciary has just officially announced that it will not protect Americans in the future

This establishes a precedent, one that will be relied upon in future rulings and decisions.

If Americans have no legal recourse against the destruction of the natural systems that maintain life, agriculture, civilization;

If the right of artificial, immortal persons and those who benefit from their existence to make money is elevated above the rights of those who seek to continue to live on a habitable planet;

If legal systems exist to be employed for the ends of those with money, access, power and influence to the detriment of those who have little or none;

Then what the hell is left of the social contract? Why obey the law if the law will not protect you?

All else that will follow is now merely a matter of time; once things get bad enough, who will obey or support a system that clearly shows that our lives and the lives of everything else we share the world with are nothing as compared with the fictions of money, capital, shareholder value, property and law?

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Response to hatrack (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 17, 2020, 06:52 PM

5. Oh come on, there was never any other way this lawsuit was going to end.

Obama also pushed for dismissal, if anything we are lucky that it was dismissed in a way that didn’t damage future climate litigation.

This was always a problem to be solved by the political branches, first step is to take control of them in November.

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Response to tritsofme (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 17, 2020, 09:49 PM

7. +1

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Response to tritsofme (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 19, 2020, 07:33 PM

12. Sure, and in 10 or 15 or 20 years, after Rupert Murdoch and James Inhofe finally die . . .

And after our current trajectory becomes blazingly (literally) obvious for anyone with one eye to see and half a wit to understand . . .

And after whole states (looking at you, Florida) go tits-up because of the economic impact of saltwater infiltration into the drinking water supply, millions of septic systems that no longer work, and a high tide that never goes back down . . .

And after Australia turns into an apocalypse theme park, the air down under bearing that delicate scent of burned eucalyptus, with just a frisson of roasted kangaroo . . .

And after we've had another 10 or 15 or 20 years of fishery collapses, and crop failures, and ocean acidification, and add another 60 or 90 or 120 billion tons of carbon to the atmosphere (at +/- 6 billion tons/year, it does sort of add up . . .

I'm sure Congress, at some vaguely defined distant date, will get right on some sort of climate legislation, assuming of course, that it doesn't have anything that says "tax" or "mandate" or "regulation" or "restriction" - just in time for it to be blocked by a federal judiciary stacked to the rafters with ideological clowns and venomous little Randroids.

I'll be sure to sit back and remind myself of just how lucky we all are!

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Jan 18, 2020, 01:46 AM

8. I'm curious; who DOES have standing? Corporations, maybe?

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Response to Crash2Parties (Reply #8)

Sat Jan 18, 2020, 12:47 PM

10. Now, *that's* a good question!

Maybe nobody does, maybe it's not an actionable issue. Certainly the argument that it is the Legislature that needs to face reality and create some enforceable laws has merit.

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #10)

Sat Jan 18, 2020, 05:14 PM

11. The court found they had standing but for the fact that the case was nonjusticiable

The same result would occur no matter who was the plaintiff.

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Response to onenote (Reply #11)

Fri Jan 24, 2020, 02:32 AM

13. But isn't that only because the court determined it was nonjusticiable?

Seems a bit circular, from my non-lawyerly point of view.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Jan 18, 2020, 02:01 AM

9. If they can't rely on the government to protect them, I guess they resort to 2A?


I hate to say that, but folks on the right are always yapping about it, so I guess that's the "solution" they want?

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