U.S. government calls for teens' climate change lawsuit to be halted

U.S. government calls for teens' climate change lawsuit to be halted

In deciding whether the landmark youth-led climate change lawsuit Juliana v.

If the court were to halt the case before it goes to trial, Chief Judge Sidney Thomas anxious, "we would be absolutely flooded with appeals from people who think their case should be dismissed by the district court". That court date has been postponed due to a rare request from the federal government to have an Appeals Court step in and halt the proceedings.

What happens next will depend on the US Court Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco, where a three-judge panel heard arguments from both sides of the case before a crowded courtroom on Monday.

On one side was the Department of Justice, alleging this case is so "unprecedented" and "extraordinary" in its demands on the federal government that it should be dismissed. But after November 2016, when a court gave the plaintiffs the green light to proceed to trial, the lobbying groups bailed, claiming that the Trump administration would more adequately defend their interests than the Obama administration. The panel is expected to issue a decision in the coming weeks. The Justice Department argued that this case, which seeks a remedy involving government action to address global warming, is "unprecedented" for its claims and broad scope, among other factors. "It's important that the court be that impenetrable bulwark, to judicially safeguard against systemic abuses of government power that infringe on the substantive due process rights of these plaintiffs", she said. This could mean that the courts tell the government what its climate policy should be, which traditionally is the purview of the legislative and executive branches of government, not the courts.

"This court is on a collision course with the Executive Branch", said Eric Grant, a deputy assistant attorney general.

Julia Olson, the attorney for the youths and executive director of Our Children's Trust, replied that not only do children suffer disproportionate harm now from environmental problems, but that they would continue to suffer in the future. She was accompanied in the courtroom by her co-counsel, as well as 18 of the 21 plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs, kids and teenagers from around the country whose ages range from nine to 20, argue that the government is violating their constitutional rights by allowing fossil fuel development, failing to implement climate change policies, and abdicating its responsibility to protect natural resources.

But the judges also questioned several parts of the government's argument, including concerns over the burden the federal government would face in participating in the case and warnings about how broadly the case could be decided.

While government lawyers also asked that the case be dismissed then, the previous administration conceded numerous plaintiffs' arguments about the danger of climate change.

"Children are disproportionately experiencing the impacts of climate change and will going forward, and in addition your honor they will live far longer than you".

Once the Ninth Circuit rules on the writ of mandamus, the case will either proceed to trial in District Court in OR, OR head down another unprecedented path.

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