On March 13, 2020, 16 young Montanans filed their constitutional climate lawsuit against the state of Montana, asserting that, by supporting a fossil fuel-driven energy system, which is contributing to the climate crisis, Montana is violating their constitutional rights to a clean and healthful environment; to seek safety, health, and happiness; and to individual dignity and equal protection of the law. The youth plaintiffs also argue that the state’s fossil fuel energy system is degrading and depleting Montana’s constitutionally protected public trust resources, including the atmosphere, rivers and lakes, fish and wildlife.
On August 3, 2021, these 16 young plaintiffs secured a critical victory when Judge Kathy Seeley denied the state’s attempt to prevent their case, Held v. State of Montana, from proceeding to trial.
Now, the Montana court has joined others, including courts in Washington, Texas, Oregon, and Colorado, in exercising the court’s role to declare the constitutional boundaries of what governments must and must not do when it comes to climate change.
This is a watershed moment for all the science-based youth climate lawsuits supported by the non-profit law firm, Our Children’s Trust, including Juliana v. United States, La Rose v. Her Majesty the Queen, Sagoonick v. Alaska and many more.
In this zoom briefing recorded on August 13, 2021, attorneys Roger Sullivan of Kallispell with Melissa Hornbein and Nate Bellinger of Our Children’s Trust are joined by youth plaintiffs Ricki Held of Broaddus and Grace Gibson-Snyder of Missoula in discussing the significance to their case, Held v. Montana. Erin Barnhart moderates.
You can find out more here:
Judge rules in favor of Montana youth plaintiffs, affirms case can proceed to trial https://westernlaw.org/judge-rules-favor-montana-youth-plaintiffs-affirms-case-can-proceed-trial/
MONTANA: Judge Sides With Youth Plaintiffs in Climate Case https://ens-newswire.com/montana-judge-sides-with-youth-plaintiffs-in-climate-case/
COP 26: The teenagers suing 33 countries https://www.bbc.com/news/av/science-environment-59776108