April 23, 2018

Children's Climate Change Lawsuit Against Trump Administration Proceeds

10 March 2018, 01:13 | Marta Robbins

Ninth Circuit Won't Dump Kids' Landmark Climate Case Against USA

Ninth Circuit Turns Back DOJ's Request to Knock Out Climate Change Lawsuit

But the Ninth circuit Court of Appeals in California has tossed that motion, allowing the lawsuit to proceed in these "very early stages", according to a decision reached today.

There's still no guarantee the case will make it to trial.

The publication stated that 21 young adults from OR filed a complaint in 2015 that said government policies exacerbated climate change and that global warming violated their rights. The plaintiffs just won a victory: the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the case can indeed move towards a trial, Bloomberg reported. When Trump took office, his White House had also sought to end the suit, but the teenagers prevailed. "We will ask the District Court for a trial date in 2018 where we will put the federal government's unsafe energy system and climate policies on trial for infringing the constitutional rights of young people".

The group of mostly teenagers in OR alleged in a 2015 complaint that government policies have exacerbated global warming in violation of their rights - and those of future generations - under the U.S. Constitution. They said that for 50 years the government promoted the use of fossil fuels, which accounted for 25% of the world's carbon emissions. "They allege that climate change is injuring them and will continue to injure them".

A spokesperson for the DOJ didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Barack Obama's administration first attempted to extinguish the case in 2016, according to Bloomberg, and the Trump administration said the case is based on "utterly unprecedented legal theories".

By a 3-0 vote, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said the administration had not met the "high bar" under federal law to dismiss the OR lawsuit, which was originally brought in 2015 against the administration of President Barack Obama.

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A three-judge panel rejected the government's petition for writ of mandamus that sought to undo. The Ninth Circuit assures the Government that there are remedies available in the trial court and the Ninth Circuit if they are needed.

Thomas further wrote that "there is enduring value in the orderly administration of litigation by the trial courts, free of needless appellate interference".

Barring an intervention by the Supreme Court, U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken must now decide which government officials can be questioned in depositions.

Julia Olson, who represented the plaintiffs and is executive director of Our Children's Trust, which advocates for improving the climate, in an interview welcomed the decision.

What do you think of the teen's lawsuit?

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