Young Climate Activists Press US Court to Force Trump’s Hand

December 23, 2019by Peter Blumberg
Plaintiff Kelsey Juliana speaks at a press conference after listening to arguments in the Oregon Supreme Court in Portland on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019. The court was held a special session in a high school auditorium as they heard arguments in the Chernaik v. Brown suit. Juliana signed on as a plaintiff in the case nine years ago when she was 14. She is now 23. Juliana is also a plaintiff in the Juliana v. U.S. federal climate change lawsuit pending before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. (Robin Loznak/Zuma Press/TNS)

SAN FRANCISCO — Young climate activists who sued the U.S. in 2015 to force changes in government policy said the Trump administration’s actions increase the urgency for the case to go to trial.

“Another six months have passed without decision,” the youths said in a filing in the San Francisco federal appeals court this weekend, “while defendants continue to act in ways that further endanger plaintiffs’ lives, liberties, and property, as supported by additional, new evidence.”

The administrations of both Barack Obama and Donald Trump have repeatedly sought to kill the case, arguing the courts lack the authority to direct the executive branch to develop a comprehensive plan to cut greenhouse gas-emissions across the U.S. economy. A trial might take as long as four months, which would help keep attention on climate change through the 2020 elections.

The court put the case on a fast-track schedule in January and a three-judge panel signaled at a hearing in June that it agrees the government hasn’t done enough to address climate change. But the judges voiced uncertainty about whether courts can force broad action.

The plaintiffs, who include University of Oregon student Kelsey Juliana, argue that the U.S. has violated a constitutional right to a livable climate over the last five decades.

In the latest filing, they submitted government documents that they say show a record expansion in recent years of oil and gas exploration and production on federal lands, as well as a marked increase in coal extraction.

Climate activism got a boost this year from Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who inspired millions of students to speak out on the issue, scolded world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly and mocked taunts by Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

The Justice Department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The case is Juliana v. United States, 18-36082, U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (San Francisco). The lower-court case is Juliana v. U.S.A., 15-cv-01517, U.S. District Court, District of Oregon (Eugene).

———

©2019 Bloomberg News

Visit Bloomberg News at www.bloomberg.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Political News

US Vaccine Train Won't be Derailed, Warp Speed Leader Says
Health
US Vaccine Train Won't be Derailed, Warp Speed Leader Says

Efforts to speedily develop and distribute a coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. won't be derailed by a change in administration, said the head of Operation Warp Speed, the federal government's program aimed at accelerating a COVID-19 jab. "All decisions are made, the train is running. Whether one administration... Read More

Joe Biden Accepts Democratic Nomination Promising ‘We’ll Find The Light Once More’
2020 Elections
Joe Biden Accepts Democratic Nomination Promising ‘We’ll Find The Light Once More’

MILWAUKEE — Joe Biden made his case Thursday for a major course correction in America as he accepted the Democratic presidential nomination, forcefully indicting the Trump administration as he laid out a vision to reunify the nation and restore competence and decency to the White House.... Read More

Trump Scorns Supreme Court on Tax Rulings While His Records Stay Private
Supreme Court
Trump Scorns Supreme Court on Tax Rulings While His Records Stay Private

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump scored a tactical victory from the Supreme Court that will likely keep his personal financial records out of public view through the November election, but he framed Thursday’s two rulings as a loss imposed by his enemies. The president was rebuffed... Read More

COVID-19 Meets the 2020 Election: The Perfect Storm for Misinformation
Social Media
COVID-19 Meets the 2020 Election: The Perfect Storm for Misinformation

SEATTLE — When a mysterious virus began racing around the globe early this year, scientists at the University of Washington’s newly created Center for an Informed Public described it as the perfect storm for bogus information, both innocent and malicious. So what’s the situation six months... Read More

House Proxy Voting Extended Through Mid-August
Health
House Proxy Voting Extended Through Mid-August
June 30, 2020
by Dan McCue

Proxy voting has been extended through mid-August in the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Monday.  House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul D. Irving, in consultation with the Office of the Attending Physician, notified Pelosi that the public health emergency due to the coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic remains ongoing. “I... Read More

Senators Urge McConnell Not To Hold Floor Vote on ‘Partisan’ Fifth Circuit Nominee
Judiciary
Senators Urge McConnell Not To Hold Floor Vote on ‘Partisan’ Fifth Circuit Nominee
June 24, 2020
by Reece Nations

WASHINGTON – A group of influential Democratic Senators are urging Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to deny a confirmation vote of President Donald Trump’s nominee for a vacant United States appeals court seat. The legislators appealed to McConnell in a letter after the Senate Judiciary Committee approved... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top