And yet, the court said- “Reluctantly, we conclude that such relief is beyond our constitutional power.”
PJM: In a key victory for the rule of law, a panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a lawsuit filed by children against the U.S. government, claiming that the federal government had violated the children’s rights by failing to act against climate change. The lawsuit asked the court to unilaterally force the government to adopt broad climate policies, circumventing Congress and the executive branch entirely.
“The plaintiffs claim that the government has violated their constitutional rights, including a claimed right under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to a ‘climate system capable of sustaining human life.’ The central issue before us is whether, even assuming such a broad constitutional right exists, an Article III court can provide the plaintiffs the redress they seek—an order requiring the government to develop a plan to ‘phase out fossil fuel emissions and draw down excess atmospheric CO2,'” Judge Andrew Hurwitz wrote in the opinion on the case Juliana v. United States (2020).
He ruled that the courts cannot unilaterally make law in this fashion, even if they wanted to.
“Reluctantly, we conclude that such relief is beyond our constitutional power. Rather, the plaintiffs’ impressive case for redress must be presented to the political branches of government,” Hurwitz wrote. read more