The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals just rejected, for the second time, a lawsuit arguing the federal government is accountable for fueling the climate crisis.
According to EcoWatch, the litigants claim the government is responsible for maintaining an energy system that causes global heating, and that in doing so the government has violated the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights to life, liberty, property, public trust, and equal protection under the law.
BREAKING: Today, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, without explanation, denied the request of the Juliana 21 to rehear their landmark constitutional climate lawsuit…1/2 pic.twitter.com/Hi77a8im23— Our Children’s Trust (@youthvgov) February 10, 2021
The court said the motion failed to receive enough votes to be heard in front of the full panel of judges, reports The Hill.
The group of young activists, who were children and teenagers when their initial lawsuit was filed in 2015, are now going to take their case to the Supreme Court.
“The 9th Circuit has deprived people in that Circuit the ability to seek a resolution of a real controversy with their government, and hear a controversy about harm to the health and safety of children. It goes against Supreme Court precedent and the precedent of every other Circuit. That travesty cannot stand,” says Julia Olson, an attorney for the 21 activists.
While the judges had concurred that the climate crisis has brought the world close to the “eve of destruction” and that “the government’s contribution to climate change is not simply a result of inaction,” they “reluctantly concluded that the plaintiffs’ case must be made to the political branches or to the electorate at large,” writes Common Dreams journalist Brett Wilkins.
“It’s now up to the U.S. Supreme Court to protect the ability of our federal courts to interpret the U.S. Constitution and resolve controversies through a declaration of law,” Olson states.