SJ Quinney College of Law, University of Utah


Frustrated by government inaction in response to the threats posed by anthropogenic climate change, the advocacy organization Our Children’s Trust (OCT) is pursuing legal reform in every state in the United States. These efforts include petitioning state environmental agencies for rulemaking and filing lawsuits against those agencies and the states. The legal claims have generally been rooted in the public trust doctrine. This Note surveys OCT’s efforts and the evolution of the organization’s legal strategy, as OCT has recently based its lawsuits on violations of substantive due process, and in some cases, violations of the states’ own environmental laws. This Note summarizes the results of OCT’s lawsuits thus far and the possible significance of their outcomes.