U.S. judge dismisses 7 and 11 year old boys’ lawsuit against Trump climate rollbacks
(Reuters) – A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by two Pennsylvania boys and an environmental group seeking to stop U.S. President Donald Trump from rolling back regulations addressing climate change, saying the court does not have power to tell the White House what to do.
Disagreeing with a judge overseeing a similar case in Oregon, U.S. District Judge Paul Diamond in Philadelphia ruled on Tuesday that the Constitution does not guarantee what the boys and the Clean Air Council called a due process right to a “life-sustaining climate system.”
Diamond also said the boys, who were 7 and 11 when the lawsuit was filed in November 2017, could not trace their respective severe allergies and asthma to White House policies.
He said this meant the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue Trump, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and other defendants who had moved to dismiss the case.
“Plaintiffs’ disagreement with defendants is a policy debate best left to the political process,” wrote Diamond, an appointee of President George W. Bush. “Because I have neither the authority nor the inclination to assume control of the Executive Branch, I will grant defendants’ motion.”
Joseph Minott, executive director of the Clean Air Council, said the plaintiffs will review their options as the White House’s “deliberate indifference” to climate change increases “the frequency and intensity of its life-threatening effects.”
The U.S. Department of Justice did not immediately respond to requests for comment.