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No Jail Time or Fines for Climate Activist Leonard Higgins
March 22, 2018March 22, 2018
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No Jail Time or Fines for Climate Activist Leonard Higgins

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 22, 2018 Contact: Kelsey Skaggs, 510.883.3118 Fort Benton, MT — Valve-turner and CDP client Leonard Higgins was sentenced on Tuesday for his part in a coordinated protest that shut down the flow of Canadian tar sands oil into the United States in order to fight climate change. A judge in...

Washington Court Issues Written Decision Allowing Necessity Defense
March 18, 2018March 18, 2018
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Washington Court Issues Written Decision Allowing Necessity Defense

In a big step forward for the climate necessity defense, a Washington trial court has issued a written decision allowing a defendant to assert the defense against charges stemming from a protest against the transportation of dangerous fossil fuels. In 2016, Reverend George Taylor participated in an action by Veterans for Peace and Raging Grannies...

CDP and Friends Discuss Climate Necessity Defense at Legal Conference
March 8, 2018March 14, 2018
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CDP and Friends Discuss Climate Necessity Defense at Legal Conference

CDP Executive Director Kelsey Skaggs appeared at the University of Oregon School of Law to discuss the climate necessity defense. Her co-panelists included law professor Lance Long and climate activists Tim DeChristopher and Emily Johnston. The event was part of the annual Public Interest Environmental Law Conference.

CDP in the Press: Climate Change Made Me Do It: Activists Press The ‘Necessity Defense’
January 10, 2018January 10, 2018
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CDP in the Press: Climate Change Made Me Do It: Activists Press The ‘Necessity Defense’

CDP co-founder Kelsey Skaggs was quoted in a Forbes article on the recent progress of the climate necessity defense: “In some ways it fits very well with climate change,” said Kelsey Skaggs, a Harvard-trained lawyer and executive director of the Climate Defense Project, which supports climate activists. Defendants must prove the threat of overwhelming harm, Skaggs...

CDP in the Press: The criminalization of environmental protest in Trump’s America
December 20, 2017April 2, 2018
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CDP in the Press: The criminalization of environmental protest in Trump’s America

CDP co-founder Kelsey Skaggs was extensively featured in a ThinkProgress article on government and corporate crackdowns on protesters; co-founder Ted Hamilton was also quoted: “This crackdown is happening because activists have been successful, and because industry realizes that protest is a threat,” Kelsey Skaggs, executive director of the Climate Defense Project, told ThinkProgress. “We’ve seen it begin,...

Law Professors File Amicus Brief in Minnesota v. Johnston et al.
December 4, 2017December 22, 2017
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Law Professors File Amicus Brief in Minnesota v. Johnston et al.

107 law professors, along with the Society of American Law Teachers, filed an amicus brief in the Minnesota v. Johnston et al. case today. The brief was submitted as part of an appeal of the trial court’s order granting the defendants permission to present the necessity defense at trial. Covering topics including the First Amendment,...

CDP in the Press: Higgins found guilty of turning off pipeline valve in Chouteau County
November 28, 2017November 28, 2017
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CDP in the Press: Higgins found guilty of turning off pipeline valve in Chouteau County

CDP’s Kelsey Skaggs was quoted in an article on the trial of climate activists Leonard Higgins in Montana: “We’re disappointed that Mr Higgins was denied the opportunity to present a full defense and explain to the jury why he took his courageous action,” said Kelsey Skaggs, Executive Director of the Climate Defense Project and member of...

Climate Defense Project Files Brief Arguing That Public Trust Doctrine Supports Climate Necessity Defense
November 20, 2017November 21, 2017
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Climate Defense Project Files Brief Arguing That Public Trust Doctrine Supports Climate Necessity Defense

Climate Defense Project Berkeley, CA November 20, 2017 On Friday, Climate Defense Project (CDP) filed a first-of-its kind brief in a Washington state climate necessity case, arguing that the government’s failure to protect the climate under the public trust doctrine justifies activists’ use of direct action. The brief argues that state and federal authorities are...