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Statesman
 
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Joined: 15 Aug 2000, 8:59 am

Post 29 Apr 2017, 8:47 am

“Exercising my ‘reasoned judgment,’ I have no doubt that the right to a climate system capable of sustaining human life is fundamental to a free and ordered society.” –U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken

A group of children began a legal action against the Obama administration in 2015. It has survived various legal channels and continues today against the Trump Administration.

Do you agree or disagree with the Judge? Are Americans rights contravened when the government doesn't protect the environment? Especially children who reap the results of neglect when they come of age?
The American constitution is not that different in conferred rights than many others...but Americans do seem most practiced in turning to their Constitution for interpretations that widen the enforcement of the rights contained within...
Are the Kids right?Will they win?

https://www.ourchildrenstrust.org/us/federal-lawsuit/

http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/29/politics/ ... index.html

There's a march in Washington today, in support of this. Its 92 degrees F in Washington today.
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Adjutant
 
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Post 04 May 2017, 12:13 pm

First, this case it still at an early stage. Just because it gets past a motion to dismiss does not mean plaintiffs will win. They still have to get past summary judgment even to get to trial. Remember, at the pleading stage the court assumes the allegations of the plaintiffs are true; to get past summary judgment (and even more to win at trial) the plaintiffs will have to prove their case. Essentially the judge has said at this point that given the allegations in the complaint she can't say as a matter of law there is no substantive due process violation.

Other than a few cases cited in the judge's order, I have not done research on the merits of the case but it would seem that this is a question to be decided in the political arena. The People--through Congress and the president--should decide what we are going to do about addressing climate change, as that is something that affects all of us and the political branch is best suited for balancing all of the interests (economic, environmental, etc.) affected by what we do about climate change. Now plaintiffs are using children as a mean of showing particularized injury--as they will suffer more injury than the rest of society--but you could say that about just any governmental action.

I'm all for taking steps to reduce carbon emissions, make our water purer, make our cleaner, our land freer of pollution. I think we should do much, much more to protect Nature but we have to win on those issues through elections.
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Ambassador
 
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Post 04 May 2017, 12:23 pm

rickyp wrote:“Exercising my ‘reasoned judgment,’ I have no doubt that the right to a climate system capable of sustaining human life is fundamental to a free and ordered society.” –U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken


Before looking, I guarantee she was appointed by a Democrat.

Oh, color me shocked: Bill Clinton.

The clue? "Reasoned judgment."

What about "the law?" What about "The Constitution?"

Nope.

She is a politician in a robe.
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Statesman
 
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Post 05 May 2017, 1:56 pm

freeman3
I think we should do much, much more to protect Nature but we have to win on those issues through elections.

There are lots of issues where this line of argument was used. And yet, in the US in particular, the courts were effectively used. Gay Marriage comes to mind. Marriage between races comes to mind. The pursuit of equality between the sexes as well...
Nussbaum, Martha C. “What’s Privacy Got to Do With It?: A Comparative Approach to the Feminist Critique.” Women and the U.S. Constitution: History, Interpretation, and Practice


Although it is early on in the process... there's no reason to think that the courts will not proceed...
And if the courts proceed, the results in court will also affect the political climate....
For example: as gay marriage advocates began to win court rulings the popularity of their position gained acceptance. Perhaps in part because courts were legitimizing the position.

There is no way, in the US, to completely wall off the courts interpretations of how the Constitution may confer rights. Back in the 70s and 80s portions of the Constitution have were advanced by nonsmokers in an attempt to create a right to a smoke-free environment; the First Amendment,
the Due Process Clause, and the Ninth Amendment.
And smokers rights groups tried to create smokers rights legislation to stop what they considered
to be encroachments on their freedom...
In a 1986 Wisconsin case, a court considered an equal protection challenge to the newly-enacted state Clean Indoor Air Act.42 The Clean Indoor Air Act prohibited smoking in government buildings with the exception of designated smoking areas. A government employee sued, arguing that it would violate the Equal Protection Clause for his employer to discipline him and his fellow smokers for smoking on the job. Since smokers are not a specially protected category, the court noted that “any reasonable basis for [distinguishing smokers from nonsmokers] will
validate the statute. Equal protection of the law is denied only where the legislature has made irrational or arbitrary [distinctions].”43 The court upheld the Clean Indoor Air Act, finding it was rationally related to the legitimate government goals of minimizing the health and safety risks of smoking
.
The failure of an advancement of constitutional protection also clarifies an issue. When it became clear that there was "no right to smoke"... anti-smoking laws advanced.
In the same way, eventual rulings that clarify whether businesses have a right to contribute to pollution or climate change or whether they have an obligation to limit such because of damage to the public's right to a sustainable climate. ... may grow out of this court action.