By Shaylee Ragar
Montana Public Radio 

Montana judge rules in favor of youth plaintiffs in landmark climate trial


August 16, 2023

Student protesters gather outside a courthouse

Josh Burnham, Montana News

WHOSE WORLD? OUR WORLD – Montana teens and their supporters rallied outside the courtroom where Lewis and Clark District Court Judge Kathy Seeley decided the state government violated its constitution by not considering the impacts of fossil fuels on the environment.

A district court judge in Montana handed down a landmark decision Monday, ruling that the state violated its own constitution by failing to consider fossil fuels' contribution to climate change.

Sixteen young people sued the state over its promotion of fossil fuel-based energy, saying it violates their right to a clean and healthful environment under the Montana Constitution.

Their case was the first of several youth-led lawsuits against states for failing to address climate change to go to trial.

The Montana Constitution says, "The state and each person shall maintain and improve a clean a...

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