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Supreme Court Refuses To Block Young People’s Climate Lawsuit Against U.S. Government

Summary:

The Supreme Court allowed a lawsuit to continue that is attempting to force the federal government to take action on climate change. Filed in 2015 by 21 young people, the lawsuit argues that the failure of government leaders to combat climate change violates their constitutional right to a clean environment. The case is before a federal judge in Oregon. Both Obama and Trump administrations asked lower courts to dismiss the lawsuit arguing that it would usurp the authority of Congress.

Questions:

  • Does the constitution guarantee a clean environment?
  • Should there be a constitutional amendment specifically protecting the environment?

Article:

The Supreme Court Friday night refused to halt a novel lawsuit filed by young Americans that attempts to force the federal government to take action on climate change, turning down a request from the Trump administration to stop it before trial.

The suit, filed in 2015 by 21 young people who argue that the failure of government leaders to combat climate change violates their constitutional right to a clean environment, is before a federal judge in Oregon. It had been delayed while the Supreme Court considered the emergency request from the government.

Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil M. Gorsuch would have stopped the suit. The other justices did not indicate how they voted on the government’s request.

The court’s three-page order said the government should seek relief from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. It noted the government’s assertion that the “suit is based on an assortment of unprecedented legal theories, such as a substantive due process right to certain climate conditions, and an equal protection right to live in the same climate as enjoyed by prior generations.”

The justices acknowledged that the 9th Circuit had previously turned down the government but said those decisions came when there was a “likelihood that plaintiffs’ claims would narrow as the case progressed.” That no longer seems the case, the unsigned opinion said, suggesting the possibility that the 9th Circuit might see things differently now.

Read More: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-refuses-to-block-kids-climate-lawsuit-against-us-government/2018/11/02/34bd7ee6-d7af-11e8-83a2-d1c3da28d6b6_story.html?utm_term=.3b15a6d0131f

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