Helena, Montana – In a sane country, such a lawsuit would have been laughed out of court on day one. But today’s America is a place where logic and reason no longer apply.
Reuters reported that a so-called judge ruled Monday that the state of Montana is violating the rights of children with policies that prevent the state form considering the impact of “climate change” when authorities review fossil fuel projects.
Specifically, “Judge” Kathy Seeley in Helena claimed in her ruling that “Montana’s emissions and climate change have been proven to be a substantial factor in causing climate impacts to Montana’s environment and harm and injury” to youths and is thus unconstitutional.
She added that the kid plaintiffs “have a fundamental constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment, which includes climate as part of the environmental life-support system.”
This case is historic for one major reason: this was the first-of-its-kind trial in U.S. history where a court said legislatures must consider the impact of youth health in making energy and environmental decisions. There have been smilier rulings in Europe, though.
Here is the background on this absurd lawsuit:
Back in 2020, 16 children when they were ages 2 to 18 (now 5 to 22) sued Montana, alleging the state’s permitting of coal and natural gas production was worsening the climate crisis. As Reuters notes, a 1972 amendment to the Montana constitution requires the state to protect and improve the environment.
During the June trial, which lasted five days, the activists whined about suffering “injuries” they claimed came from Montana’s energy policies and also said their homes had been negatively impacted.
Julia Nelson, the chief legal counsel of Our Children’s Trust, which represented the activists, released a statement boasting that the decision was a turning point and more rulings like this will come in the future.
Today, for the first time in U.S. history, a court ruled on the merits of a case that the government violated the constitutional rights of children through laws and actions that promote fossil fuels, ignore climate change, and disproportionately imperil young people.
“As fires rage in the West, fueled by fossil fuel pollution, today’s ruling in Montana is a game-changer that marks a turning point in this generation’s efforts to save the planet from the devastating effects of human-caused climate chaos. More rulings like this will certainly come.
Emily Flower, spokeswoman for Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, correctly slammed the ruling as absurd in an emailed statement and vowed to appeal.
This ruling is absurd, but not surprising from a judge who let the plaintiffs’ attorneys put on a weeklong taxpayer-funded publicity stunt.
Source material can be found at this site.