Children around the world are suing their governments for a failure to protect themselves and future generations, invoking the implicit and explicit primary duty of every state to protect its citizens. This chapter explores the roots of this social contract, and argues that inherent in this duty to protect its citizens, is the duty to protect the foundations of life upon which those citizens, and their rights, rely. Without protecting ecological integrity, public health and the environment, whether through inaction or an active assault against, citizens will not be able to exercise their constitutional and human rights, which also directly impairs the strength and stability of the state itself. The chapter explores the responsibilities of the state, drawing from Locke, Hobbes and the Federalist Papers, which birthed the world’s oldest Constitution in the United States. It then unpacks the ethical and legal implications for a state’s failure to protect the foundations of life, primarily through Kelsey Cascadia Rose Juliana, et al., v. United States of America, et al., but also showing a global trend with cases from Ireland, India, New Zealand, Netherlands, Pakistan, and the European Court of Human Rights, as well as developments in the International Criminal Court, the UN Human Rights Council and the Declaration on the Rights of the Child. It shows that the state’s most imperative, most basic, ethical and legal duty is to protect that which all rights depend, upon which all citizens depend: the foundations of life.