Youth Tells High Court US Has Duty To Protect Atmosphere

By David Siegel (October 7, 2014, 2:42 PM EDT) -- Attorneys for a group of youth activists have urged the U.S. Supreme Court to take up their unusual case claiming the federal government is required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, arguing the atmosphere should be protected as a "public trust" for future generations.

In their cert petition filed Oct. 3, the activists, represented by University of California-Irvine dean Erwin Chemerinsky, say a unanimous D.C. Circuit panel was wrong to uphold a trial judge's decision to throw out the case on the basis that the plaintiffs had failed to establish federal jurisdiction, because the public trust doctrine only exists in state common...

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