State AG’s Office Files Answer to Amicus Brief in Atmospheric Trust Case

July 17th, 2012 | Posted by Jen Marlow in Blog

Yesterday, the Washington State AG’s Office filed its Answer to the Amici Brief filed by seven Washington faith-based groups in Svitak et al. v. State of Wash. et al. Three Degrees represented Amici on the brief.

Youth in Washington (represented by Our Children’s Trust) filed the original case seeking to protect the atmosphere for present and future generations under the public trust doctrine.

Amici argued in their brief that the inequities of climate change threaten human rights and that international human rights law is applicable in the youth plaintiffs’ atmospheric trust case.

In its Answer, the State argued that human rights arguments are “irrelevant to the issues before the Court,” (Answer at 3) and that public trust law in Washington is well-defined, making “the Court’s resort to anything outside the judicially-determined doctrine unnecessary” (Answer at 6).

You can read the State’s Answer here. What are your thoughts about the State’s position?

Also note: A trial court in Texas finds the atmosphere protected under the public trust doctrine and the Texas Constitution.


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Top-left: Swells rise in the Bay of Bengal and splash into Nuzahan Bibi’s rice field, which, as global temperatures rise and sea level climbs, becomes an ever more precarious means of support for the widowed Bangladeshi. © Peter Essick

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