By Dana Drugmand
A federal judge in Pennsylvania dismissed a climate lawsuit brought by an environmental organization and two children against the federal government. The lawsuit, Clean Air Council v. United States, claimed that Trump administration rollbacks of environmental regulations and other “anti-science” decisions violate Constitutional rights and the public trust.
In dismissing the claims on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Paul Diamond scoffed at what he interpreted as a request that he “supervise any actions the President and his appointees take that might touch on ‘the environment.’”
Beyond ruling on this case, however, Diamond went further to rebuke U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken for her ruling in Juliana v. United States that the young plaintiffs had a Constitutional right to a livable climate. When Aiken ordered that lawsuit to trial in 2016, she said “the right to a climate system capable of sustaining human life is fundamental to a free and ordered society,” becoming the first U.S. judge to recognize that right.
Diamond said that ruling is at odds with previous court decisions and “the Juliana Court certainly contravened or ignored longstanding authority.”
He also took issue with what guaranteeing a stable climate would entail,, calling it “without apparent limit.”
In dismissing the case before him, Diamond said the Pennsylvania plaintiffs, who filed the suit in 2017, lacked standing. The two boys said their serious allergies and asthma were directly linked to the impacts of climate change, but Diamond said they failed to directly tie their injuries to government actions. Diamond said he interpreted this case as a political dispute. “Plaintiffs’ disagreement with Defendants is a policy debate best left to the political process,” he wrote.
Full story here
The ruling is here
h/t to reader Thomas Borecki