Young People Delayed In Federal Climate Suit, But They’d Rather Be In Court

Youth plaintiff Hazel V., 13, of Eugene, Ore., speaks during a news conference outside of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, December 11, 2017. CREDIT: ERIC RISBERG/AP PHOTO
Youth plaintiff Hazel V., 13, of Eugene, Ore., speaks during a news conference outside of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, December 11, 2017. CREDIT: ERIC RISBERG/AP PHOTO

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The 21 young people who are suing the federal government over climate change are waiting for an appeals court to rule on whether their case can go forward. February 5 would have been their first day in Eugene Federal Court in the lawsuit.

After she ruled against the government’s attempts to dismiss the case, Eugene federal district judge Ann Aiken had set Monday as the start date for Juliana vs. The United States of America. The suit claims the federal government has enabled the fossil fuel industry to thrive and ignored its role in climate change.

But, the lawsuit’s future is in the hands of a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In December, they heard the Trump Administration’s arguments for a writ of mandamus, a rarely used legal maneuver that would invalidate Aiken’s decision. The youth plaintiffs aged 8 to 21, are taking to social media with the #IdRatherBeInCourt. Attorneys for the plaintiffs are hopeful the appeals court will allow the lawsuit to go to trial as soon as this summer.

Copyright 2018 KLCC

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