Children of the Gore: Kids’ file ‘global warming’ lawsuit against U.S. government – Claim violations of ‘right to life, liberty and property’
Litigation may be as American as apple pie, but some lawsuits are so destructive that they stand out even among the hugely expensive wreckage wrought by our legal system. The most prominent current example is the “children’s” climate lawsuit (Juliana v U.S.): A group of kids, including “future generations, through their guardian Dr. James Hansen,” claim that the government’s actions and failures to act have caused climate change, thus violating the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty and property, and have failed to protect essential public trust resources.
I leave the numerous legal issues to the lawyers, although precisely how the ineffable Hansen came to be the “guardian” for future generations is a question both fascinating and amusing. Instead, it is crucial to recognize first that the fundamental policy assumption underlying this lawsuit — we can make “the children” better off by making them poorer — is preposterous.
More generally, the lawsuit is a blatant attempt to circumvent democratic processes, in terms of both the Congressional power to make policy and the authority of the president to implement it.