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.
But the Ninth circuit Court of Appeals in California has tossed that motion, allowing the lawsuit to proceed in these "very early stages", according to a decision reached today.
The so-called "climate kids" have again had their novel case against the federal government cleared for trial.
The appeal is In re: United States of America v. USDC-ORE, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (San Francisco).
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.
Twenty-one plaintiffs, now aged 10 to 21, accused federal officials and oil industry executives of knowing for decades that carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels destabilize the climate, but refusing to do anything about it. They asked the court to force the government to formulate a formal plan to change course.More news: PS4's 5.50 Update Out Now With New PSVR Icons
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On the other hand, the Justice Department lawyers under Trump could try presenting evidence in the rigorous environment of a federal courtroom that climate change either does not exist or is not caused by humans. 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. Bloomberg said they utilized a rare procedural maneuver to contend a federal judge overstepped her authority - in 2016, she refused to dismiss this case.
A three-judge panel on Wednesday rejected the government's request for an order directing a district court to dismiss the case.
"We are mindful that some of the plaintiffs' claims as now pleaded are quite broad, and some of the remedies the plaintiffs seek may not be available as redress", Judge Sidney Thomas wrote in the decision.
The government also claims what the kids want - a court order forcing the government to stop climate change - threatens the separation of powers between the courts and the executive branch of government.
Julia Olson, a Eugene attorney who represents the plaintiffs, said Wednesday that she and her clients hope a trial can go forward later this year in Eugene. "However, the district court needs to consider those issues further in the first instance".