Government Tries to Stop the ‘Climate Kids’ Lawsuit
The ‘Climate Kids’ are currently suing the Trump administration over the climate emergency, a situation they say is being handled so negligently, it is violating their constitutional right. So far, the feds are working towards stopping the case from going to trial.
The “radical” lawsuit is argued by Jeffrey Bossert Clark, an assistant attorney general who represented BP after the infamous 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Clark argues that the case should be thrown out on the grounds that it is a “direct attack on the separation of powers” among the three branches of the federal government.
The lawsuit now counts 21 plaintiffs since it was filed in 2015. It now sits with a three-judge panel from the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals. A decision is expected to be made whether this complaint will move toward trial in the coming weeks or months. The plaintiffs argue that their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property are being violated by the US government due to its role in causing global warming, advancing climate change, and its involvement in extracting and burning fossil fuels. They also say that the consequences posed to the atmosphere will beared upon the younger generations in the near future.
Julia Olson, attorney for the plaintiffs, said “When our great-grandchildren look back on the 21st century they will see that government-sanctioned climate destruction was the constitutional issue of the century,” Olson said. “We must be a nation that applies the rule of law to harmful government conduct that threatens the lives of our children so that they can grow up safe and free and pursue their happiness.” Ultimately, Olson says the relief the young plaintiffs seek is for the US government to create an actionable plan to limit fossil fuel use and work towards making the atmosphere safe and livable for younger generations to come.
While the lawsuit has gained considerable support from a variety of sources, legal experts question whether the courts could enforce such things. Presiding over the lawsuit, Judge Andrew Hurwitz told Olson “You present compelling evidence that we have a real problem. You present compelling evidence that we have inaction … It may even rise to the level of criminal neglect. The tough question for me, and I suppose for my colleagues, is do we get to act because of that.”