A federal appeals court blocked the Trump administration's second attempt to halt a lawsuit filed by a group of children over climate change.
The California-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously on Friday that the lawsuit can go forward.
The suit argues that the Trump administration "violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, as well as failed to protect essential public trust resources" through their climate policies.
“We denied the government’s first mandamus petition, concluding that it had not met the high bar for relief at that stage of the litigation. ... No new circumstances justify this second petition, and we again decline to grant mandamus relief,” read a court order.
Today's ruling was not on the merits of the case, but rather clears the way for an Oct. 29 hearing.
The Trump administration has twice sought to either halt the case or have it thrown out entirely.
The same court ruled against the Trump administration earlier this year after attorneys for the Justice Department argued that the burden for the process of discovery would be overbearing.
“The defendants’ argument fails because the district court has not issued a single discovery order, nor have the plaintiffs filed a single motion seeking to compel discovery. Rather, the parties have employed the usual meet-and-confer process of resolving discovery disputes,” the three-judge panel wrote in March.
The lawsuit was originally filed under the Obama administration in 2015 in a federal court in Oregon by 21 children and an environmental group, and it targeted numerous federal agencies.
The plaintiffs argue the federal government's knowledge of the consequences of climate change gives them a constitutional duty to take strong actions to protect children.