Left and the Law: Held v. Montana

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Photo of four young plaintiffs walking in front of a progressive-era mural


Left and the Law: HELD V MONTANA: In Helena, Montana, Judge Kathy Seeley ruled on August 14th for the plaintiffs in Held v Montana, marking the first constitutional climate trial in US history. The case was filed in March 2020 by 16 young Montana residents, then aged two through 18. Their lawsuit charged that the state’s government’s pro-fossil fuel policies contribute to climate change, and thereby violate provisions in the state constitution that guarantee that the “state and each person shall maintain and improve a clean and healthful environment in Montana for present and future generations”. In their Left and the Law segment, Jan Haaken and Mike Snedeker talk about the importance of this landmark case and approach the trial as a drama, where the arc of the story and the role of various protagonists shape the denouement.


image: Our Children's Trust #youthvgov, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

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