If this was pro wrestling, the Montana Legislature just tagged in.

The leaders of Montana's two legislative bodies, Senate President Jason Ellsworth (R-Hamilton) and House Speaker Matt Regier (R-Kalispell) have filed an amicus brief against the Held v Montana decision in favor of the youth climate activists, aka "Climate Kids."  The legislators' contend that the authority to enact the right to a clean environment rests with the legislative branch of government.

In a press release, Regier explains, "Our brief argues that the District Court overstepped its judicial authority and improperly waded into environmental policymaking, which is the Legislature’s job under our state constitution."

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Held v Montana focused on a portion of the Montana Constitution, Article II that asserts the "right to a clean and healthful environment."  The Climate Kids used this to remove a provision in the Montana Environmental Policy Act that prevented state agencies from worrying about greenhouse gasses in their environmental reviews.

The amicus brief points out the supposed separation of powers among branches of government, and how the lines get blurred.

The congressional leaders point to another piece of the Montana Constitution, Article IX.  I looked this up and in Section 1 is all this:

Section 1. Protection and improvement.

(1) The state and each person shall maintain and improve a clean and healthful environment in Montana for present and future generations.

(from Me: okay, this may go along with the Climate Kids; I wonder what they are going to do to fulfill this, besides run to court)

(2) The legislature shall provide for the administration and enforcement of this duty.

(3) The legislature shall provide adequate remedies for the protection of the environmental life support system from degradation and provide adequate remedies to prevent unreasonable depletion and degradation of natural resources.

In this section from over half a century ago, the state Legislature retains the power to ensure an adequate stewardship of the environment.

Is it just me, or did the Climate Youngsters and the District Court focused on one little phrase of the Montana Constitution and disregarded the rest of the specific section?

Anyway, the amicus brief is now pending in the Montana Supreme Court.  I suspect the Kids will be there in force.

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