As of Friday, November 9, 2018
Landmark litigation brought by young people challenging government inaction on climate change is set to move forward.
The U.S. Supreme Court issued an order last week greenlighting the ambitious “kids’ climate case,” a novel lawsuit brought by 21 children and young adults asserting a right to a safe climate, as reported by Greenwire.com
The court found that the stay is unwarranted because the government can still seek review in the Ninth Circuit.
“At this time, however, the government’s petition for a writ of mandamus does not have a ‘fair prospect’ of success in this court because adequate relief may be available in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit,” it wrote.
The youth plaintiffs have fended off multiple government attempts to derail the case. Previous attempts to halt proceedings were unsuccessful at the U.S. District Court, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, which in July denied a similar government petition.
The case was scheduled to go to trial this week in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon. It’s unclear how the schedule will change in light of the Supreme Court detour. Trump administration lawyers had made an 11th-hour plea for the high court to halt the case, which they say involves political and regulatory issues that do not belong in the courtroom.
The justices denied the request after Chief Justice John Roberts provided a temporary reprieve two weeks ago, according to Greenwire.
The administrative stay is now lifted. The order notes that Justices Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas would have granted the application.
“We (the youth) are taking back the mic,” said Eva Jones of the Hood River Valley High School Earth Action Club. “Mobilizing around political policies that hurt us and those around us like gun violence, immigration, LGBTQ-plus rights, and obviously climate change has allowed my generation to take power over their lives.
“Looking to my future, it all depends on this case. This lawsuit can pull us from the road toward apocalyptic cataclysm we are on now,” Jones said. She called the Children’s Trust lawsuit “the cornerstone of environmental policy and will be the deciding factor in whether I can pass down my love and immersion in nature to my children and their children.
“Unlike some movements, no one is safe from the effects of climate change. We have spent too much time with climate issues on the back burner as they continue to bubble and consume our future. It’s the power of individuals that will make this movement flourish. If people take responsibility for their purchases and carbon footprint, we show corporations that we will not support those who continue to consume and pollute the Earth. Take back your Earth, make those daily choices to conserve, and support the Children’s Trust lawsuit, for it could save the lives of your children and their children. The world is watching,” Jones said.