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Oregon: Judge dismisses two girls' lawsuit about climate change

The girls and their mothers wanted Oregon to take more steps to protect the state from global warming

Source:  Copyright 2012, Register-Guard
Date:  April 6, 2012
Byline:  Karen McCowan
Original URL: Status ONLINE


A judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit that two young environmental activists filed last May, seeking to force the state of Oregon and Gov. John Kitzhaber to take more stringent steps to protect the state’s atmosphere, water, land and wildlife from the impacts of climate change.

Lane County Circuit Judge Karsten Rasmussen ruled that the court lacks authority to order the actions sought by 11-year-old Olivia Chernaik and 15-year-old Kelsey Juliana, and their mothers, Lisa Chernaik and Catia Juliana.

Rasmussen also ruled that the matter is a political question, and that he would violate the Oregon Constitution’s separation of powers if he ordered the state to carry out a more aggressive plan to reduce carbon emissions than one adopted by the Legislature in 2007.

The young plaintiffs’ suit is “asking a solitary judge in one of (Oregon’s) 36 counties to completely subvert the legislative process,” he wrote.

Such a court order would ...

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