“Judge Throws Out New York Climate Lawsuit”

“Judge John F. Keenan of United States District Court for the Southern District of New York wrote that climate change must be addressed by the executive branch and Congress, not by the courts. While climate change ‘is a fact of life,’ Judge Keenan wrote, ‘the serious problems caused thereby are not for the judiciary to ameliorate. Global warming and solutions thereto must be addressed by the two other branches of government.'” Not only was Mayor De Blasio’s widely publicized suit pre-empted by the Clean Air Act, but demands for transnational change are the province of U.S. foreign policy rather than courts [John Schwartz, New York Times] Less than a month ago federal judge William Alsup threw out climate suits by San Francisco and Oakland. Suits of this sort, based on theories of public nuisance law, “have generally been considered long shots.”

I wish some people who ought to know better would stop trying to dress up this sort of legal action as somehow in the historical mainstream of Hayekian common law vindication of private rights. It isn’t, not by a long stretch. It’s an exercise in attempted legislation through the courts.


  • Not only is it a phony legal argument, but they are claiming damages for things that have not happened yet and may never happen. It is also the case that it is the consumers who cause the CO2 to actually be released. This suit is like blaming the companies that mine iron ore for gun deaths.

    • This suit is like blaming the companies that mine iron ore for gun deaths.

      Hmmm… they wouldn’t be covered by the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, would they…. Interesting.

      Let me think about that.