Ninth Circuit Rejects Kids’ Climate Case

by Michelle C. Pardo

Back in 2015, the case of Juliana v. U.S., brought by 21 young people and various environmental groups in federal court in Oregon, grabbed many headlines.  The issue: plaintiffs alleged that the U.S. government was violating their constitutional rights by contributing to climate change, despite knowing of its significant and catastrophic consequences.  The lawsuit highlighted the impact of fossil fuels on the Earth’s climate and alleged that the federal government has long understood the risk of fossil fuel use and increasing carbon emissions, and has deprived plaintiffs of the right to “a climate system capable of sustaining human life.”  Frustrated with the lack of action from the political process, this group of young plaintiffs, with a hefty backing of environmental activists, tried to get the federal courts to take action.  The relief requested: a court order to compel the government to end fossil-fuel subsidies and adopt policies that would reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Continue reading “Ninth Circuit Rejects Kids’ Climate Case”

Animal Activist Group Loses “Right to Wilderness” Lawsuit

by Michelle C. Pardo

If you thought animal and environmental activists had already pushed the envelope far enough in the world of federal court litigation, think again.

This week, an Oregon federal judge ruled that a group of plaintiffs – made up of animal and environmental activist organizations and individuals – do not have a constitutional “right to wilderness” and dismissed with prejudice their lawsuit which sought to force the federal government to cease policies that contributed to climate change that, in turn, harmed plaintiffs’ enjoyment of nature and wildlife.   ALDF et al. v. United States, (6:18-cv-01860-MC)(D. Oregon). Continue reading “Animal Activist Group Loses “Right to Wilderness” Lawsuit”

Endangered Species Act Case Founders on Lack of 60-Day Notice

By John M. Simpson

A federal district court in New Hampshire recently dismissed a citizen suit making novel claims under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) because the plaintiff could not prove that he had provided the required 60-day notice to the defendants prior to suit.  Strahan v. Nielsen, 2018 WL 3966318 (D.N.H. Aug. 17, 2018).  Continue reading “Endangered Species Act Case Founders on Lack of 60-Day Notice”

9th Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment of No Standing in Endangered Species Act Case

by  John M. Simpson

On June 28, 2018 a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a summary judgment determining that certain environmental organizations had no Article III standing to pursue claims under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) as to financing authorizations by the Export-Import Bank of the United States with respect to two liquid natural gas projects in Queensland, Australia near the Great Barrier Reef.  Center for Biological Diversity v. Export-Import Bank of the United States, ___ F.3d ___, No. 16-15946 (9th Cir. June 28, 2018).  The court found that plaintiffs failed to satisfy the redressability requirement under the “relaxed standard” for standing in “procedural rights” cases.  Slip op. at 14.  Continue reading “9th Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment of No Standing in Endangered Species Act Case”

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