21 youths are taking on the United States government over climate change in the lawsuit Juliana v. U.S. – and so far President Donald Trump has failed at attempts to dodge them. The plaintiffs just won a victory: the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the case can indeed move towards a trial, Bloomberg reported. 21-year-old plaintiff Kiran Oommen said in a statement, “The question of the last few years has not been ‘do we have a case’ but rather ‘how far will the federal government go to prevent justice.’ We have seen that they are willing to go to many lengths to cover up their crimes and maintain the status quo, but not even the Trump administration can go far enough to escape the inevitable tide of social progress.”
Today the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Trump administration’s “drastic and extraordinary” petition for writ of mandamus in the landmark climate lawsuit, Juliana v. United States, brought by 21 youth supported by Our Children’s Trust. The Court ruled that the Juliana case can proceed toward trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon and that the Trump administration had not satisfied the factors necessary for an extraordinary writ of mandamus. #youthvgov
The 21 plaintiffs — mostly teenagers, according to Bloomberg — say the government, in backing a climate change-inducing energy system, has violated their rights to property, liberty, and life, and hasn’t protected vital public trust resources. Barack Obama’s administration first attempted to extinguish the case in 2016, according to Bloomberg, and the Trump administration said the case is based on “utterly unprecedented legal theories.” Bloomberg said they utilized a rare procedural maneuver to contend a federal judge overstepped her authority — in 2016, she refused to dismiss this case. But the three-judge panel at the Ninth Circuit was unanimous, deciding the issues the federal government raised are “better addressed through the ordinary course of litigation.”
Julia Olson, co-counsel for the plaintiffs and executive director of Our Children’s Trust, one of the organizations supporting the kids, said the Ninth Circuit’s move signaled a “green light for trial.” She said they’ll ask for a trial date in 2018.
The question of the last few years has not been “do we have a case” but rather “how far will the federal government go to prevent justice.” We have seen that they are willing to go to many lengths to cover up their crimes and maintain the status quo, but not even the Trump administration can go far enough to escape the inevitable tide of social progress. The Ninth Circuit’s decision affirms that we are on the side of justice, and for justice we are moving forward. #seeyouincourt #youthvgov #julianavsus #ourchildrenstrust
Oommen summed it up this way: “We’ll see you in court.”
Image via Gage Skidmore on Flickr