Guest contributor Mollie Cueva-Dabkoski reflects on working as a summer law intern at Our Children’s Trust on the Held v. Montana case.
It’s been three months now since 16 young plaintiffs suing the state of Montana for climate harms piled into a Helena courtroom so small that the attorneys worried whether everyone would fit. (They did.) And it’s been one month since the Montana First District Court determined that the state of Montana had indeed violated Montana …CONTINUE READING
Held v. Montana shows climate science can win in a courtroom. But one decision is just the beginning of a long legal fight.
A state court judge in the ‘Last Best Place’ just gave the youth climate movement a shot in the arm with the first decision of its kind that directly connects specific state actions to global climate change and then to injuries suffered by young people. It’s a decision worth reading, as U.S. courts have not …CONTINUE READING
Court rules Montana’s state constitutional guarantee of a clean & healthful environment for Montanans prevails over state officials’ fossil fuel-centric policies
A Montana state district court has issued its long-awaited decision in a major climate change case brought by Montana children against state officials. In Held v. State of Montana, a Montana trial court ruled that the state Constitution’s guarantee of a healthy and clean environment prevails over Montana’s longstanding fossil-fuel-based state energy policies. The “youth citizen” …CONTINUE READING
The state argued that Held v. Montana is a boring case about procedure. The kids made a compelling case that climate action is part of Montana’s constitutional obligation to maintain a healthy environment.
The very first American trial of a youth climate lawsuit was hardly blockbuster Court TV, but we learned a lot from the proceedings. The bench trial took place last month in the state capitol, Helena, where 16 youth plaintiffs ages 5 to 22 made the case that Montana’s unwavering promotion of fossil fuels violates the …CONTINUE READING
Held v. Montana is the first of many climate lawsuits by youth plaintiffs to go to trial. Big Sky Country is a fitting forum for this phase of climate change litigation.
Young people who have the most to lose from climate change have filed lawsuits in all 50 states, but the first of these cases to go to trial will be in Montana—unofficially nicknamed “the Last Best Place”—which may be the perfect venue for a landmark trial about government culpability for the global climate crisis. Starting …CONTINUE READING
For the last few days, I have been at my wife’s family reunion in northwestern Montana, where her great-grandfather and great-grandmother came as homesteaders in the late 19th century. I had never been to Montana before, and at least this area is often stunningly beautiful: no wonder many Montanas have taken to calling their state …CONTINUE READING
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued its decision in PPL Montana v. State of Montana, a fascinating case that combines the colorful history of the American West, the issue of the public’s access to state waterways, and a dispute over hefty royalties claimed to be owed the State of Montana for unpermitted use of public …CONTINUE READING
A federal judge in Montana has refused to halt the hunting of gray wolves in Idaho and Montana, but has strongly suggested that the wolf was unlawfully delisted under the Endangered Species Act. In April, the US Fish and Wildlife Service removed the gray wolf in Idaho and Montana from the endangered species list. The …CONTINUE READING