Despite efforts by the Trump administration to stop a climate change lawsuit led by 21 youth plaintiffs between the ages of 11 and 22 years, the Supreme Court has decided in favor of the young people. The plaintiffs can move forward with the, Juliana v. The United States suit arguing that the United States government has violated their constitutional rights by “allowing fossil fuel production to continue—despite knowing its effects on the planet,” according to Mother Jones.
The Supreme Court issued a brief order denying the government’s application to stop the lawsuit, saying that it’s “premature.”
Text of the brief:
The application for stay presented to Justice Kennedy and by him referred to the Court is denied.
The Government’s request for relief is premature and is denied without prejudice. The breadth of respondents’ claims is striking, however, and the justiciability of those claims presents substantial grounds for difference of opinion. The District Court should take these concerns into account in assessing the burdens of discovery and trial, as well as the desirability of a prompt ruling on the Government’s pending dispositive motions.
The SCOTUS order follows a separate decision made on July 20 by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals which also ruled the youth’s lawsuit may proceed.
The two organizations supporting Juliana v. The United States the lawsuit, Our Children’s Trust and Earth Guardians released a joint statement accusing the federal government of “creating a national energy system that causes climate change, is depriving them of their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property and [failing] to protect essential public trust resources.”
The high court recognized the passion of the young people who are fighting for their future, “The breadth of respondents’ claims is striking, however, and the justiciability of those claims presents substantial grounds for difference of opinion,” SCOTUS noted in the unsigned order.
In unstable times, this decision serves as proof that the balance of power still has relevance in America, and that the future is worth fighting for.
The kids are all right!