Climate change lawsuit filed by Alaska youth goes to court

Law Review

The state has argued in court that a climate change lawsuit filed by 16 young Alaska residents should be thrown out because climate policies must be decided by the state Legislature and the executive branch, not the courts.

The state and plaintiffs argued their cases on Monday before an Anchorage judge in a hearing to decide if the lawsuit should advance, Alaska's Energy Desk reported .

The plaintiffs, ranging from children in elementary school to college students, say the state is violating their constitutional rights by failing to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Assistant Attorney General Seth Beausang asked the court to dismiss the case, citing the Alaska Supreme Court's dismissal of a similar climate change case in 2014 setting precedent.

"The court said that weighing all those interests was a policy decision entrusted to the political branches, and not to the courts," Beausang said.

The 2014 case and the current one were both filed with help from an Oregon-based nonprofit, Our Children's Trust, which has filed legal actions on behalf of young people across the country demanding action on climate change.

The plaintiffs said that in the years since the 2014 Supreme Court ruling, Alaska has implemented a de facto climate policy by continuing to encourage activities like oil and gas production.

"The state's climate and energy policy is causing catastrophic harm to Alaska's climate system and endangering plaintiff's lives and liberties and their very futures," Our Children's Trust attorney Andrew Welle said. "These claims are squarely within the authority of the court."

Attorneys for both sides said they expect a ruling within the next six months.

Related listings

  •  Bakery appeals to UK Supreme Court in gay-rights cake case

    Bakery appeals to UK Supreme Court in gay-rights cake case

    Law Review 05/01/2018

    A bakery owned by a Christian family asked Britain's Supreme Court on Tuesday to overturn a ruling that it discriminated against a gay customer for refusing to make a cake supporting same-sex marriage.Ashers Baking Co. in Northern Ireland refused in ...

  • Law firm hired to investigate economic development agency

    Law firm hired to investigate economic development agency

    Law Review 05/01/2018

    The Oregon Department of Justice has hired a law firm to investigate allegations of discrimination and mismanagement at the state's economic development agency, Business Oregon.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that in an anonymous letter to Gov. Kate...

  • Taxpayer tab for law firm overseeing Atlantic City hits $4.8M

    Taxpayer tab for law firm overseeing Atlantic City hits $4.8M

    Law Review 04/19/2018

    New Jersey taxpayers' tab for the takeover of Atlantic City has reached about $5 million in fees from the law firm former Gov. Chris Christie picked to oversee the gambling resort.Records obtained Thursday by The Associated Press show the firm of Chi...

Is Now the Time to Really Call a Special Education Lawyer?

IDEA, FAPE, CHILD FIND and IEPs: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) guarantees all children with disabilities to a free appropriate public education (FAPE). FAPE starts with a school’s responsibility to identify that a child has a disability (Child Find) and create an Individualized Education Program (IEP) to suit the needs of the child. Parents need to be persistent, dedicated and above all else aware of the many services and accommodations that their child is entitled to under the law. As early as this point within your child’s special education, many parents will often find themselves in the situation asking, “is now the time to really call a special education lawyer?” Here are a few things to consider when asking yourself that question.