People being born today will have to deal with consequences of climate change that you and I may not live long enough to have to endure. For many, that’s enough reason to sit on their hands and take no action. But for 21 young people, a lawsuit against the US government seemed like a step in the right direction.
But the federal government is having none of it and has invoked a legal tool that’s almost never used in order to crush their lawsuit.
Last week, Ann Aiken granted the plaintiffs a hearing, deciding that their lawsuit deserved one. Following that, the Trump administration did something unusual – it went to the 9th circuit court of appeals in order to get their case dismissed.
According to the government’s official complaint, Aiken and the district court committed “multiple clear errors of law” and felt it was important to “end this clearly improper attempt to have the judiciary decide important issues of energy and environmental policy to the exclusion of the elected branches of government.
The Children’s Trust, which is the NGO working with the 21 young people filing the suit, have countered stating that the plaintiffs have equal right to weigh in on policies.
If Trump’s attempt to dismiss the case fails, it will be headed to trial.
“The Trump administration wouldn’t be scrambling to avoid facing us in trial if they were upholding their constitutional duty to protect us,” said Nathan Baring, a 17-year-old plaintiff.
“The public is waking up to the blatant collusion between business and governmental interests at the expense of the people, at the expense of our liberties.”
Photo by Robin Loznak
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