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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Supreme Court halts landmark youth climate case

Despite the blow to the case, counsel remains optimistic of the case's chances of proceeding.

In a disgraceful move, the U.S. Supreme Court has halted a potential landmark lawsuit brought by 21 American children and young adults against the federal government for their role failing in adequately battle the ongoing climate crisis.

The decision, drafted by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, was announced on Friday. The climate change lawsuit was set to begin later this month.

The decision was in response to yet another effort by the Trump administration to kill the case. The Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to stop the lawsuit on Thursday. Roberts granted the request, despite an unanimous July ruling that said the case could proceed. The judge has halted discovery and the trial “pending a response to DOJ’s stay request, which is due by 3p Wednesday.”

The all-important case has been tied up in the legal system for three years. It began in 2015 when 21 young Americans made the move to sue the federal government for failing to protect them from the impacts of climate change.

Yet just this week District Court Judge Ann Aiken reaffirmed that the plaintiffs can credibly claim that the government has violated their due process rights. Co-counsel for the team remains optimistic despite the sudden change in direction by the court stating, “We are confident once Chief [John] Justice Roberts and the full court receive the youth plaintiffs’ response to defendants’ mischaracterization of their case, the trial will proceed. As the Supreme Court has recognized in innumerable cases, review of constitutional questions is better done on a full record where the evidence is presented and weighed by the trier of fact. This case is about already recognized fundamental rights and children’s rights of equal protection under the law.”

The public has been quick to note that this sudden change of heart from the Supreme Court follows quickly on the heels of the appointment of new conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

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