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Clean Air Council v. United States

ELR Citation: 49 ELR 20028
Nos. 17-4977, (E.D. Pa., 02/19/2019) (Diamond, J.)

A district court dismissed a lawsuit brought by an environmental group and two children challenging federal rollbacks of environmental regulations. The plaintiffs sought a declaration that the government could not implement rollbacks that increased the frequency of or intensified the effects of climate change, arguing that these violated their due process and Ninth Amendment rights as well as the government's duty to hold the nation's resources in public trust. But the court found that plaintiffs lacked standing because they failed to demonstrate that the government caused them direct harm or that the court could adequately redress their alleged injuries. The court also concluded that plaintiffs failed to state a viable claim because the court found no legally cognizable due process right to environmental quality, the Ninth Amendment provided no substantive rights to sustain their claim, and their public trust claim had no basis in law. The court therefore granted the government's motion to dismiss.