The Volokh Conspiracy

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Climate Change

District Court Dismisses Genesis B. Kids Climate Suit Against the EPA

The district court recognizes that the plaintiffs lack standing, but grants them leave to amend.


On Wednesday, District Court Judge Michael Fitzgerald of the Central District of California dismissed Genesis B. v. Environmental Protection Agency, another "kids climate suit" against the federal government. In this case, as in the Juliana litigation, the plaintiffs sought to argue that the federal government is constitutionally obligated to take more aggressive action to control greenhouse gas emissions.

Among other things, the Genesis plaintiffs sought to argued that discounting future harms from climate change constitutes invidious age discrimination under the Equal Protection clause. As extravagant as such substantive arguments were, the plaintiffs here faced a larger threshold problem: Demonstrating federal court jurisdiction to hear the claims.

In the order, Judge Fitzgerald noted that there was no basis upon which to distinguish this case from the Juliana case, which the Ninth Circuit ordered dismissed on standing grounds. However, Judge Fitzgerald did grant the plaintiffs leave to amend, offering them another opportunity to reformulate their claims. No doubt the plaintiffs will file an amended complaint, but I am skeptical it will produce a different result.