Ann Carlson Quoted in Bloomberg Environment: Youth Climate Plaintiffs Face Continued Legal Risks After Defeat
Serious legal risks lie ahead for the 21 young plaintiffs who are pushing forward in court after losing their ambitious climate change lawsuit against the federal government. A three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Jan. 17 blocked the litigants from moving ahead with claims that federal policies enabled and accelerated global temperature rise, ruling 2-1 that the judicial branch simply lacks power to fix the issue. But many legal experts say the circuit court is unlikely to revisit the decision and warn a trip to the Supreme Court would be too risky. Ann Carlson, a law professor at University of California at Los Angeles, said some justices could view a Juliana petition as an opportunity to reel in precedents that made it easier for environmental litigants to get to court, including the landmark Massachusetts v. EPA climate case in 2007 and the 2000 water pollution case Friends of the Earth v. Laidlaw.