Can 21 young people sue the government over climate change?

The Supreme Court will decide this week whether to let the trial begin on Oct. 29.

 

This article was originally published by the  and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Less than three months ago, the Supreme Court  against the federal government to proceed, despite misgivings about the “striking” breadth of the case filed by nearly two-dozen teenage plaintiffs. This week, the high court must decide again whether to delay the case just days before it is set to go to trial in federal court in Oregon.

On Friday, Chief Justice John Roberts  on behalf of the Supreme Court to stay the proceedings pending the young plaintiffs’ response to the government’s request to narrow the case. The plaintiffs filed their 103-page response Monday morning, which means the Court has a tight window to decide whether to let the trial begin, as previously scheduled, on Oct. 29. 

Twenty-one people, ages 22 and younger, are suing the federal government for violating their constitutional rights by “the government's affirmative actions that cause climate change.”
Courtesy Our Children's Trust

The teenagers  the Obama administration in 2015, arguing that they have the right to “a climate system capable of sustaining human life.” As Mother Jones :

The plaintiffs in  are arguing that the US government has known for decades that carbon dioxide emissions are endangering the planet. By allowing the production of fossil fuels to continue, the lawsuit alleges, the plaintiffs’ constitutional right to life, liberty, and property is being violated, in addition to their public trust rights. 

The government asked the Supreme Court over the summer to block the case,  its “groundless and improper” request to have the Executive Branch devise a “national remedial plan” to phase out carbon dioxide emissions. In their response on Monday, the plaintiffs said an intervention by the Court at this stage would “undermine the confidence of the American people in our Nation’s justice system.” 

Another similar climate change case, which was brought against the state of Washington,  in August before a trial could begin. In explaining his decision, a Seattle trial judge said the lawsuit from 13 teenage plaintiffs should not go forward because the issues brought about in the case were of a political, not legal, nature.

Email NewTowncarShare News at [email protected] or submit a letter to the editor. 

NewTowncarShare News Classifieds
  • The West Region Wildfire Council (www.COwildfire.org) is a regional wildfire organization that promotes wildfire adaptation, preparedness and mitigation education across Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray...
  • The Wallowa County Chieftain, has an opening for a reporter. Experience with and understanding of editorial photography also required. Journalism degree or equivalent, an understanding...
  • Seeking an energetic Organizer/Outreach Coordinator to help us conserve Arizona's public lands and shape the policies that affect them.
  • 15 hours on it, 3 years warranty, 22,5 HP, $1600 Sale price. Contact: [email protected]
  • Join us in helping to match charitable interests and passions to the needs of The Nature Conservancy. The Nature Conservancy seeks a fast learner with...
  • The Yellowstone River Field Institute is an intensive week-long field course for multimedia storytellers, working journalists, and students of journalism, offered by the Montana-based Freeflow...
  • 1400 sf of habitable space in a custom-designed eco-home created and completed by a published L.A. architect in 1997-99. Nestled within its own 80-acre mountain...
  • Baltimore Green Space (BGS) is Baltimore's environmental land trust. We promote vibrant neighborhoods and a healthy environment through land preservation, research, and community advocacy. We...
  • Northwest Natural Resource Group seeks forester based in Seattle or Olympia area to manage our ecological forestry harvest program. Full description at nnrg.org.
  • Western Resource Advocates (WRA) is seeking an experienced Policy Analyst or Senior Analyst to develop and advocate for policies and mechanisms that promote the development...
  • from a beautiful log home. 20-acre private parcel in the sunny Okanogan of WA. Visit: www.juliedubois.ca/house. Inquiries: [email protected]
  • Western Resource Advocates is looking for a VP of Programs and Strategy to bring a strategic focus to the development of multi-faceted advocacy plans that...
  • Hiring Part/Full time for Summer Season - entry level & experienced positions. Year round employment for optimal candidates. Pay DOE.
  • Located on top of Sugarloaf Mtn. 5 mi W of downtown Colorado Springs, CO. $80,000.
  • The Draper Natural History Museum (DNHM) at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, WY, invites applications for Curator of Natural Science. Seeking...
  • in Southwest Colorado. $60K plus costs.
  • Seeking full-time experienced farmer on 52-acre organic farm Union, OR. [email protected]
  • Metal roofing & siding, thru-fastened & seam profiles. Stronger, more attractive and longer lasting than any other panel on the market. 970-275-4070.
  • We are looking for an experienced campaigner to lead our work challenging the oil and fracked gas industry, specifically focused on fighting fossil fuel expansion...
  • Everland Mountain Retreat includes 318 mountaintop acres with a 3,200 square foot lodge and two smaller homes. Endless vistas of the Appalachian mountains, open skies,...