On June 4, 2019 the young people who brought the Juliana v. US lawsuit participated in a lively hearing before the Federal court of appeals in Portland on their demand for a constitutional right to “a climate system capable of sustaining human life.” They claim that their right to a livable future for themselves and their descendants is being violated by the Federal Government by its century long promotion of a fossil fuel energy system. The court reserved judgment on the young peoples’ request for a trial to establish the facts about the Government’s support of the fossil fuel energy system and its failure to protect the children’s health and the robust ecosystems necessary for them and their descendants to survive and thrive. Thousands were able to follow the novel constitutional arguments on the 9th circuit court of appeals website. It’s still on the site for anyone to watch.

A separate state level case brought by youth here in Washington against the State government is currently pending before the Washington Supreme Court.

Both cases bear watching. The arguments made by the young plaintiffs call for the courts to require something along the lines of the Green New Deal’s call for early replacement of the nation’s fossil fuel based energy system.