Montana Judge Rules in Favor of Children’s Climate Lawsuit
Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Montana District Court Judge Kathy Seeley has ruled in favor of a group of children that brought suit against the State of Montana for failing to provide a ‘clean and healthful environment’ for future generations.
The Associated Press stated on Monday that:
A Montana judge has sided with young environmental activists who said state agencies were violating their constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment by permitting fossil fuel development without considering its effect on the climate. The ruling Monday in the first-of-its-kind trial in the U.S. adds to a small number of legal decisions around the world that have established a government duty to protect citizens from climate change. District Court Judge Kathy Seeley found the policy the state uses in evaluating requests for fossil fuel permits — which does not allow agencies to evaluate the effects of greenhouse gas emissions — is unconstitutional.
Judge Seeley also wrote ‘Montana’s emissions and climate change have been proven to be a substantial factor in causing climate impacts to Montana’s environment and harm and injury” to the youth.
Montana's Attorney General Called the Trial Itself 'A Farce'
On the other side of the argument, a spokesperson for Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen said the ruling was ‘absurd’, which Knudsen had already stated on the KGVO Talk Back Show in recent months.
‘We had the kids’ climate lawsuit that just wrapped up,” he said. “That was a huge one, in my opinion, a huge farce and a huge circus paid for by out-of-state environmental interests that sent a bunch of children into court, in an attempt that had been thrown out of Federal Court and had been thrown out of every other state court in the country. But we had one judge here in Helena, who was bound and determined to hear this case and give these kids a headline, and this is what we end up with.’
KGVO Reaching out to Numerous Sources for Comment on the Decision
KGVO has reached out to Montana Governor Greg Gianforte, Attorney General Knudsen, Democratic State Representative Ellie Boldman, as well as Robyn Driscoll, Chair of the Montana Democratic Party for their reactions to the judge’s decision.
(KGVO received this statement from the office of Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen spokesperson Emily Flower)
This ruling is absurd, but not surprising from a judge who let the plaintiffs’ attorneys put on a week-long taxpayer-funded publicity stunt that was supposed to be a trial. Montanans can’t be blamed for changing the climate — even the plaintiffs’ expert witnesses agreed that our state has no impact on the global climate. Their same legal theory has been thrown out of federal court and courts in more than a dozen states. It should have been here as well, but they found an ideological judge who bent over backward to allow the case to move forward and earn herself a spot in their next documentary. The State will appeal.”
Also see our previous statement on the case and Our Children’s Trust:
This entire lawsuit is a meritless publicity stunt to increase fundraising for their political activism at the expense of Montana taxpayers. Our Children’s Trust is a special interest group that is exploiting well-intentioned Montana kids – including a 4-year-old and an 8-year-old – to achieve its goal of shutting down responsible energy development in our state. Unable to implement their policies through the normal processes of representative government, these out-of-state climate activists are trying to use liberal courts to impose their authoritarian climate agenda on Montanans.