Juliana v. United States

California Communities Argue Their Climate Liability Suits Are Based on Fossil Fuel Disinformation Campaigns

Read time: 6 mins
Increased sea level and storm surge impact roads and trails at Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

In back-to-back hearings before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday, lawyers representing California cities and counties suing fossil fuel companies over localized climate impacts argued their cases are based on the companies’ alleged campaigns of deception around climate science that downplayed the danger of their products.

Opposing arguments by an attorney representing Chevron as well as a Department of Justice lawyer failed to defend against this core allegation, and instead claimed that global warming broadly is an issue of federal concern that requires federal rather than state court jurisdiction.

Judges Point Dismissed Youth Climate Plaintiffs to Political System Corrupted by Fossil Fuel Cash

Read time: 9 mins
Youth climate justice protest in Minnesota

When a pair of Ninth Circuit Court judges ordered dismissal of a landmark youth climate change lawsuit last week, they concluded that the U.S. government may be harming the nation’s youth through its fossil fuel-based energy policy, but that courts cannot stop that harm. “Rather, the plaintiffs’ impressive case for redress must be presented to the political branches of government,” Judge Andrew Hurwitz wrote in a split 2-1 decision dismissing Juliana v. United States.

The decision to dismiss Juliana without a trial raises troubling implications about the state of America’s constitutional democracy and the role that courts can play in harming, rather than protecting, the public interest, according to legal and scientific experts.

In Oregon and Five Other States, Youth Are Making Legal Cases for Climate Action

Read time: 5 mins
Youth vs. Gov climate lawsuit rally

The Oregon Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday, November 13 to decide the fate of one of a half dozen state-level climate lawsuits filed on behalf of American youth. The plaintiffs in the Oregon case, appealing a state appellate court decision in January, charge that the state has a public trust obligation to protect the atmosphere on behalf of future generations.

Trump Admin Argues No Constitutional Right to a Safe Climate Two Years After Ditching Paris Accord

Read time: 5 mins
Texas National Guard carrying young girl through floodwaters in Texas in 2016

Almost exactly two years after President Trump announced his plans to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, a groundbreaking youth climate change lawsuit challenging the federal government’s promotion of fossil fuel energy was back in court for a long-awaited hearing. Before a three-judge panel in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Trump administration, which has tried numerous times to derail the suit, argued that the case is an “attack on the Constitution” and that there is no right to a stable climate system capable of sustaining human life.

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