Appeals court gives go-ahead to 'climate kids' suit

Outside the Ninth Circuit during arguments for Juliana v. United States

Outside the Ninth Circuit during arguments for Juliana v. United States

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.

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

Summary: The Trump administration was unsuccessful at stopping an environmental lawsuit filed by mostly teenagers.

Officials for the Justice Department didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the ruling.

A group of constitutional scholars weighed in on the issue in an amicus brief filed this past week. The plaintiffs just won a victory: the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the case can indeed move towards a trial, Bloomberg reported.

The ruling echoed concerns the Ninth Circuit judges expressed over the government's mandamus bid during oral arguments in December.

The appeal is In re: US v. USDC-ORE, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (San Francisco).

On Wednesday, the three-judge panel of the court of appeals said that this case should be settled through trial.

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"Congress has not exempted the government from the normal rules of appellate procedure", Thomas wrote for a panel that included Circuit Judges Marsha S. Berzon and Michelle T. Friedland.

"Litigation burdens are part of our legal system, and the defendants still have the usual remedies before the district court for nonmeritorious litigation", Thomas wrote. "And if relief is not forthcoming, any legal error can be remedied on appeal".

Juliana v. U.S. was originally filed in 2015, in the U.S. District Court in OR against the U.S.A., President Barack Obama, and a litany of named federal agencies.

"There is enduring value in the orderly administration of litigation by the trial courts, free of needless appellate interference".

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.

"We were really excited and relieved to have the decision so we can move forward and get a new trial date from the district court and get as quickly to trial as possible".

"The Ninth Circuit just gave us the green light for trial". She said in a prepared statement that the plaintiffs "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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