The Notoriously liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals shocked progressives around the globe on Friday, when they tossed the infamous lawsuit filed by the “climate kids” into the trash where it belongs. In a 2-1 split decision, the court ruled that the children didn’t have a legal leg to stand on.
It’s amazing to have lasted this long. Even Barack Obama’s administration tried to kill it before President Donald Trump took over the battle, filing motion after motion to get the case dismissed before the appeals court got it last June.
According to the written decision, the plaintiffs, aged 8-19 when the Juliana v. United States lawsuit was filed in 2015, “lacked legal standing to sue the United States.” Being liberal and all, the judges weren’t happy about it but they followed the law. The Department of Justice was happy that they won. Noting that the children wanted “a previously unimagined constitutional right.”
Circuit Judge Andrew Hurwitz explained that the majority reached its decision “reluctantly,” since they had been shown “compelling” evidence that administrations from both parties had endorsed the use of fossil fuels despite the risks, and that failing to change government policies could expedite an “environmental apocalypse.”
The 21 child plaintiffs convinced the lower court that they had “concrete and particularized injuries,” that could possibly be linked to federal climate policy but they were looking for justice in the wrong place. It isn’t the Court’s job. In legalese, what they said is, the “claimed injuries were not redressable by an Article III court.”
“There is much to recommend the adoption of a comprehensive scheme to decrease fossil fuel emissions and combat climate change, both as a policy matter in general and a matter of national survival in particular,” the ruling states. “But it is beyond the power of an Article III court to order, design, supervise, or implement the plaintiffs’ requested remedial plan.”
Instead, it’s the job of Congress and the Administration to ensure their safety. “As the opinions of their experts make plain, any effective plan would necessarily require a host of complex policy decisions entrusted, for better or worse, to the wisdom and discretion of the executive and legislative branches.”
The dissenting Justice, Judge Josephine L. Staton was disappointed but she isn’t ready to give up. “the mere fact that this suit cannot alone halt climate change does not mean that it presents no claim suitable for judicial resolution.”