judge dismisses kids vs global warming

June 13, 2012

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The teens who brought the kids vs global warming lawsuit are planning a march. Photo from http://kids-vs-global-warming.com/iMatter_March.html

U.S. District Judge Robert L. Wilkins, in a ruling dated May 31, said that the federal courts don’t have jurisdiction in the kids vs global warming lawsuit. The judge said the issues raised in the case are best left to the states and federal agencies and dismissed the case.  

Several members of CCIHC were outside the U.S. District Court hearing in Washington, DC, May 11, when Alec Loorz, the lead plaintiff who is now 18 years old, asked that the lawsuit be permitted to proceed. The government agencies named in the suit, as well as National Association of Manufacturers and other industry groups, were asking the court to dismiss the suit. 

The teens, represented pro bono by a California firm, claimed in their lawsuit that the government had failed in its duty to protect the atmosphere for future generations and had allowed unsafe levels of greenhouse gas emissions to build up in the atmosphere. They also wanted the court to declare that federal agencies had to reduce CO2 levels in the atmosphere to less than 350 ppm during this century.  

The judge, in his ruling, said, “Ultimately, this case is about the fundamental nature of our government and our constitutional system, just as much – if not more so – than it is about emissions, the atmosphere or  the  climate.” He said that “federal courts have occasionally been called upon to craft remedies that were seen by some as drastic to redress those seemingly insoluble disputes.  But that reality does not mean that every dispute is one for the  federal  courts to resolve, nor does it mean that a sweeping court-imposed  remedy is the appropriate medicine for every intractable problem.”

Judge Wilkins said that the ruling doesn’t mean that the sides “have to stop talking to each other,” and noted that “All of the parties seem to agree that protecting and preserving the environment is a more than laudable goal, and the Court urges everyone involved to seek (and perhaps even seize) as much common ground as courage, goodwill and wisdom might allow to be discovered.”

The case was Alec L. et. al vs. Lisa P. Jackson, et. al. (Alec hasn’t responded yet to an email requesting his comment on the outcome.)

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