Federal judge blocks the Keystone XL Pipeline

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In a major setback for President Trump, last week a U.S. district judge issued an order to block construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline while the State Department studies its impact on the environment.

Last year, the Trump administration approved the controversial 1,179-mile pipeline, but Judge Brian Morris’ 54-page order is preventing it from being built – for now. This decision does not permanently stop construction, but it is putting construction on hold until the State Department takes… View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building



Montana judge to rule on first grizzly bear hunt in 40 years

This week a U.S. judge will hear the arguments case presented by Native American tribes and animal activists for the protection of recently demoted Yellowstone area grizzlies from the endangered list. The removal of the grizzlies’ protection status has caused states such as Montana, Idaho and Wyoming to launch trophy hunting expeditions in and around Yellowstone park for the first time in over 40 years. All in all 700 american bears are at risk of staring down the barrel since their elimination from… View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

Brazilian federal judge blocks move to destroy huge swath of Amazon forest

Brazilian president Michel Temer recently attempted to open up a national reserve to mining companies, but a federal judge put a stop to that plan. The National Reserve of Copper and Associates, or Renca, is a 17,760 square mile area of the Amazon forest that’s been protected since 1984, and Temer’s move was met with outcry from activists. But with the decision of judge Rolando Valcir Spanholo, the president’s attempt won’t move forward – at least for now.

Related:

Via The Guardian

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Montana judge stops massive coal mine expansion, citing climate impact

In another strike against coal, a federal judge just shut down plans for a large coal mine expansion in Montana, saying that US officials had exaggerated the economic benefits of the mine while downplaying the impact it would have on the environment. Signal Peak Energy wanted to expand the Bull Mountain coal mine by 28-square kilometers (11-square miles) and 159-metric tons (176-million tons).

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy blocked the proposal, ruling that approving such a request should… View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

Judge greenlights kids’ climate change lawsuit against US govt

Kids may not be able to vote, but they are finding others ways to hold government leaders accountable for their action (or inaction) on climate change that will negatively impact future generations. A federal judge in Oregon announced Thursday that an earlier lawsuit filed by 21 youth plaintiffs would be considered valid and proceed in court. The suit names President Barack Obama, the fossil fuel industry, and other federal agencies as defendants, charging that decision makers are violating the constitutional… View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green BuildingEco funeral – Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

NM Judge Rules in Favor of Death with Dignity

Yesterday, a New Mexico court ruled terminally ill, mentally competent residents have a constitutional right to request prescribed medication to shorten their suffering. In her ruling, Second Judicial District Judge Nan Nash stated:

If decisions made in the shadow of one’s imminent death regarding how they and their loved ones will face that death are not fundamental and at the core of these constitutional guarantees, then what decisions are? As recognized by the United States Supreme Court in Cruzan “[t]he choice between life and death is a deeply personal decision of obvious and overwhelming finality.”

The case, Morris v. Brandenberg was brought before the court on behalf of two doctors, Dr. Katherine Morris and Dr. Aroop Mangalik, as well as a woman diagnosed with advanced uterine cancer, Aja Riggs. According to the Associated Press:

Aja Riggs has undergone aggressive radiation and chemotherapy treatment for advanced uterine cancer. The 49-year-old Santa Fe resident remembers the feeling of her skin burning, all the medication, the nausea and the fatigue so immense that even talking sapped too much energy…She said she wanted to live but also wanted the option of ending her life with dignity if her condition worsened.

Judge Nash also ruled doctors who provide fatal prescriptions to their terminally ill patients can’t be prosecuted under the state’s assisted suicide law. The New Mexico Psychological Association filed an amicus brief in the case arguing assisted suicide is fundamentally different from assisting a dying patient in finding dignity in an already impending exit from this world.

One of the plaintiffs, Dr. Morris, moved to New Mexico several years ago after practicing in Oregon. Her professional experience as a physician prescribing under Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act is documented in the film How to Die in Oregon. Underscoring why being able to honor a dying patient’s wish is critical to her she stated:

Surgical oncologists like me know we can’t save every cancer patient. It’s important that we have every tool in the toolbox to respond when dying patients who are suffering request options to die with dignity.

New Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office is studying the decision. If affirmed, the decision would apply to the whole state.

View full post on Death with Dignity National Center