Supreme Court turns down Trump admin request to block youth climate lawsuit

Supreme Court turns down Trump admin request to block youth climate lawsuit
© Stefani Reynolds

The Supreme Court rejected the Trump administration’s request to halt a lawsuit from young Americans seeking to force the government to address climate change.

In its unsigned order, the high court stated the administration had not reached the necessary bar to stop the suit, according to CNN. The decision allows the case, Juliana v. United States, to move forward. 

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The Associated Press noted that the government still has the ability to petition a lower court to dismiss the suit.

The court said the government may attempt to get relief at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. It also didn't rule out reassessing the case after the lower court's ruling. 

Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch said they would have ruled in favor of the administration halting the lawsuit. 

In 2015, 21 young people, with the assistance of climate activist and scientist James Hansen, filed a lawsuit in which they argued that the federal government is violating their rights to a clean environment by not combating climate change. 

The Obama and Trump administrations repeatedly asked lower courts to halt the lawsuit in the following years. In October, Justice Department attorneys again filed a motion asking for the suit to be halted, citing concerns about the case's effect on the separation of powers.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts temporarily halted discovery and the upcoming trial a day later. The trial had been set to begin in a district court in Oregon on Oct. 29.  

An attorney representing the young people said in a statement to the AP on Friday that she asked for an immediate status conference in hopes of getting “back on track for trial in the next week.”