The Supreme Court refused on Friday evening to stop a novel lawsuit filed by young Americans in an attempt to force the federal government to take action against climate change and rejected a request by the Trump administration to stop them ,
The lawsuit, filed in 2015 by 21 young people arguing that government leaders' failure to combat climate change violates their constitutional right to a clean environment, is in front of a federal judge in Oregon. It had been delayed while the Supreme Court had examined the government's urgency request.
Judge Clarence Thomas and Neil M. Gorsuch had stopped the lawsuit. The other judges did not specify how they voted at the request of the government.
The court's tripartite decision said that the government should apply to the US Court of Appeals for the 9th state. She pointed to the Government's claim that the lawsuit was based on a compilation of unprecedented legal theories, such as an appropriate right to certain climatic conditions and an equal right to the same climate enjoyed by previous generations.
The judges recognized that the 9th circle had previously rejected the government, but said that these decisions were taken as "the likelihood that the plaintiffs' claims would narrow as the case progresses". This no longer seems to be the case, said the unsigned opinion possibility that the 9th Circuit sees things differently now.
And it left open the possibility for the government to return to the Supreme Court.
The aim of the lawsuit is to force the government to withdraw its support for the extraction and extraction of fossil fuels and to support measures aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.
"We were confident throughout the case that we would go to court, and I believe we will be brought to justice," said Julia Olson, youth lawyer and executive director of Our Children's Trust, in an interview with the Washington Post on Friday night. "We have overcome everything that the government has entrusted to us. It is no luck. It is the strength of the case and the strength of the evidence and the strength of the legal arguments that we propose. "
Obama and Trump administrations have repeatedly asked lower courts to dismiss the lawsuit, question their merit, investigative inquiries are "annoying", arguing that the lawsuit would grab the authorities of Congress and federal agencies.
The plaintiffs "are seeking nothing more than a complete overhaul of the American energy system – including the abandonment of fossil fuels – ordered by a single district court on the orders of" twenty-one children and adolescents, "wrote Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco in a brief to the Supreme Court.
"Since the government claims since the first application for dismissal of this lawsuit in 2016, [the] The claim that new fundamental rights to certain climatic conditions have no basis in the history and tradition of the country – and no place in federal court. "
Francisco admitted that he asked for "extraordinary relief" by asking the Supreme Court to intervene before the trial begins. But he said the uniqueness of the lawsuit deserves such an exception.
If the protracted negotiation could continue, "it could take years" before the government "could seek such a monstrous abuse of civil litigation and violations of the separation of powers."
The government has put forward similar arguments before the lower courts, but judges have allowed the case again and again. The government also went to the Supreme Court this summer to apply for a stay, but the court said the request was "premature" in an unsigned statement.
In a 103-page submission this week to keep the process on track, the plaintiffs alleged that the Trump administration would not suffer "irreparable" damage if it went through the case.
"This case clearly raises profoundly important constitutional issues, including questions of individual liberty and prestige, whose answers depend on the full evaluation of the evidence in the trial," the lawyers wrote: "These young plaintiffs, mere children and adolescents, are already to suffer irreparable damage that worsens as the day progresses, with more carbon dioxide accumulating in the atmosphere and oceans. "
The young activists seized the opportunity to reiterate that the courts are forcing the government to "end their violation of the plaintiffs' rights, review the country's greenhouse gas emissions, and establish and enforce an enforceable national clean-up plan to end the constitution Breaches of fossil fuel emissions and reduction of atmospheric CO2. "
Olson said the youth plaintiffs filed a petition for early hearing at the Oregon District Court, hoping to move closer to the long-awaited trial.
Ministry of Justice officials were not immediately available for comment on Friday.