Trump Administration Moves to Halt Climate Change Lawsuit Filed by Young Activists

October 18, 2018, 7:25 PM UTC

Justice Department attorneys are asking the Supreme Court for a second time to throw out a lawsuit a group of young activists filed against the government in 2015, claiming their constitutional rights were being deprived by the government’s lack of action toward preventing climate change.

The lawsuit was filed by 21 activists, now between the ages of 11 and 22, in a federal court in Eugene, Oregon, Reuters reports. Earth Guardians, a youth leadership organization, is also a plaintiff.

According to a site dedicated to the suit, Juliana v. United States, the complaint claims that “through the government’s affirmative actions that cause climate change, it has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, as well as failed to protect essential public trust resources.”

Both the Obama and Trump administrations have failed to dismiss the case. Most recently, the Supreme Court in July denied the Trump administration’s application for stay, as well as its request to review the case before the district court hears the facts at trial.

As of now, the case is set to move to trial on October 29.

Thursday’s application for a halt via a writ of mandamus claims that “respondents can make no credible claim of imminent, irreparable harm,” The Hill reports.

“Their alleged injuries stem for the cumulative effects of CO2 emissions from every source in the world over decades; whatever additions to the global atmosphere that could somehow be attributed to the government over the time it takes to resolve the pending petition are plainly de minimis,” the application continues.

According to The Hill, the government claims that the case will force the judicial branch to act on climate policy, which is outside its domain.