Children's Climate Change Lawsuit Allowed by Appeals Court

10 March, 2018, 01:12 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Federal appeals court panel clears 'climate kids' lawsuit against US government for trial

A three-judge panel of the USA 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday unanimously rejected the government's request for an order that would have directed a judge to dismiss a climate lawsuit filed by 21 youths ages 10 to 21, along with well-known climate scientist James Hanson.

The so-called "climate kids" have again had their novel case against the federal government cleared for 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. "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".

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"They allege that the defendants have known for decades that carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels destabilize the climate", according to the latest court decision. They asked the court to force the government to formulate a formal plan to change course.

The Department of Justice is expected to ask the Supreme Court to drop the case.

This is now the second court to reject the government's efforts to have the case dismissed.

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Noting that the United States is a defendant in almost 20 percent of civil cases filed in federal court, Chief Circuit Judge Sidney R. Thomas wrote that federal rules of procedure anticipate defendants will sometimes face burdensome litigation. The Trump administration said that it is based on "utterly unprecedented legal theories" and it is unreasonable to use research that was conducted as far back as the Lyndon Johnson presidency.

"The panel held that mandamus relief was inappropriate where the district court has not issued a single discovery order, nor had the plaintiffs field a single motion seeking to compel discovery", the judges ruled.

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. Julia Olson, the lead attorney for the teens, said the opinion offers them the opportunity to continue fighting for environmental justice. "However, the district court needs to consider those issues further in the first instance". Olson said that the plaintiffs are seeking a trial for 2018.

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The government has repeatedly said that the courts are not responsible for setting climate change policy.



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