Supreme Court Lets Youth Climate Case Move Forward

A new date has not been set for the case here in Eugene

The youth climate lawsuit can move forward.

The constitutional case had been scheduled for U.S. District Court here in Eugene, Oct. 29, at the Wayne Morse Federal Courthouse, but the Trump administration asked for a stay.

The court found the stay unwarranted because the government can still seek relief from the 9th Circuit, writing, “At this time, however, the Government’s petition for a writ of mandamus does not have a ‘fair prospect’ of success in this Court because adequate relief may be available in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.”

This is the second time a writ of mandamus has been denied in Juliana v. United States.

The 21 young plaintiffs of the Our Children’s Trust lawsuit, Juliana v. United States, filed the constitutional case in 2015  based on the public trust doctrine, arguing that if the government is causing harm to the climate system, it needs to be enjoined to stop that harm. The youths, now ages 10 to 21, filed against the federal government in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon.

The case is one of several climate cases tackling global warming through the judicial system. Locally, the Civil Liberties Defense Center has taken on climate change through the necessity defense. And counties, cities and, more recently, states have sued, arguing fossil fuel companies are liable for the damages they have caused. In the most recent case, the state of New York’s Attorney General’s office sued ExxonMobil, alleging the fossil fuel giant defrauded its investors by “misleading them about the financial risks the company faced from climate change regulations.”

A new date for the youth climate suit has not yet been set.