fbpx

Latest Posts

Home

Facebook

Twitter

Search
About

Court Backs Climate Change and Calls for More Protests

There’s no law against grandstanding in court, but that doesn’t make it right. Take the case of John Schulte, a Duluth judicial referee who saw the trial of three climate protesters as a platform to deliver his personal verdict on global warming.

To his credit, Schulte found the three defendants who chained themselves to a Duluth Wells Fargo bank entrance to prevent it from opening earlier this year guilty of trespassing, fining them $135 apiece. Yet after that slap on the wrist, the court gave th protesters a pat on the back and virtual pep talk, according to the Duluth News Tribune.

But in his ruling, Judicial Referee John Schulte seemed to agree in spirit with the men’s actions.

“They should keep up the fight,” Schulte wrote in his memorandum filed in District Court in Duluth. “There is a long tradition in this world of honorable and appropriate civil disobedience. This case is a perfect example.”

Schulte proceeded to drop additional disorderly conduct and obstruction charges against the three defendants whose only defense was they had no other options.

Referring to themselves as water protectors, they were calling on Wells Fargo to divest itself from fossil fuels and Enbridge Energy, in particular. Enbridge is on track to build a new Line 3 oil pipeline replacement through Minnesota.

The defendants argued in court in October that they’d exhausted legal avenues that would have resulted in climate change being addressed more lawfully.

A former family law and bankruptcy attorney, Schulte generally oversees small claims cases, evictions and domestic disputes, according to the job description. Yet when one of the most complex scientific and political issues of our day came up in his courtroom, the family court referee didn’t hold back.

But Schulte also offered up the following in his memo: “Based on testimony (of an expert witness) and the consensus of the scientific community, the Court finds that the climate is in fact changing, the earth is warming, and human activity in the form of carbon emissions is a major cause of said climate change.”

Case closed? Not outside Schulte’s courtroom, where the jury’s still out on climate change in the court of public opinion. Polls consistently show the issue rates at or near the bottom of most American’s concerns.

Comments

Subscribe

Categories

Upcoming Events

  • Morning in Minnesota: St. Cloud

    Location: St. Cloud

    Sign up HERE! Courtyard by Marriott St. Cloud 404 West Saint Germain Street St. Cloud, MN, 56301 Please join Center of the American Experiment on Tuesday, July 21 for breakfast with Center policy fellow and education expert Catrin Wigfall as she explains K-12 education in the state and its persistent disparities despite decades of increased spending. Following her presentation, Catrin will lead a Q&A session. 7:30 AM Check In and Breakfast 8:00 AM Presentation 9:00 AM Conclude   Catrin Wigfall is a Policy Fellow at Center of the American Experiment. She is also the director of EducatedTeachersMN and EmployeeFreedomMN. Catrin’s…

    Register Now
  • Morning in Minnesota: Marshall

    Location: Marshall Golf Club

      Sign up for this event HERE! Please join Center of the American Experiment on Thursday, July 16 at Marshall Golf Club for a breakfast with Center economist, John Phelan, as he discusses Minnesota’s economic future. Following his presentation, John will lead a Q&A session. 7:30 AM Check In and Breakfast 8:00 AM Presentation 9:00 AM Conclude John Phelan is a graduate of Birkbeck College, University of London, where he earned a BSc in Economics, and of the London School of Economics where he earned an MSc. He worked in finance for ten years before becoming a professional economist. He…

    Register Now
  • 2020 Annual Dinner Featuring Sarah Huckabee Sanders- Now in September!

    Location: Minneapolis Convention Center Ballroom 1301 2nd Ave S Minneapolis, MN 55403

    NEW SEPTEMBER DATE: We have made the difficult decision to once again move the date of this event. We will now host our Annual Dinner on Saturday, September 19th. All tickets bought for the April 4th, or June 18th dates are transferrable. We are so sorry for any inconvenience this has caused, but we look forward to seeing you on September 19! Direct any questions to Kathryn Hinderaker (kathryn.hinderaker@americanexperiment.org or 612-428-7005).   American President: The Unorthodox Approach to Politics that Changed the World. Sarah Huckabee Sanders served as White House Press Secretary for President Donald J. Trump from 2017 to…

    Register Now