The Trump Administration Just Lost Another Court Battle To Kids

Youth plaintiffs and supporters rallying in Denver on Feb. 20, 2017.
Youth plaintiffs and supporters rallying in Denver on Feb. 20, 2017.
Photo: Christian O’Rourke (Flickr)

Courtroom climate victories have been tough to come by of late with cases being thrown out in California and New York. But there’s one that keeps chugging along. The lawsuit brought by kids against the U.S. government is on track with judges denying the Trump administration’s latest attempt to block it.

On Friday, three judges on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said the trial will go on. They were responding to the Trump administration’s attempt to stop the trial through what’s known as a writ of mandamus, which the Washington Post called a “hail Mary” the first time the administration filed one in this case. That first writ was denied, and so was this one.

“No new circumstances justify this second petition, and we again decline to grant mandamus relief,” the judges wrote in their decision. “It remains the case that the issues that the government raises in its petition are better addressed through the ordinary course of litigation.”


In plain English, that means the trial will continue with a court date set for October 29. Another judge on the Ninth Circuit will hear the case, which has been winding its way through the court system since 2015. Originally, it was brought against the Obama administration, which also tried to get it tossed out without success.

The Trump administration has since taken up defending the government, which is accused of propping up an energy system run on carbon spewing fossil fuels. Which, true. The plaintiffs argue that violates their constituional rights.

“This is a clean case about fundamental constitutional rights of children that not only deserves to be heard, but in our system of law, Article III courts have a duty to hear and decide this case,” Julia Olson, executive director and chief legal counsel of Our Children’s Trust (the group handling the case), said in a statement.

This case is one of a number of climate challenges filed by kids and young adults around the world. Cases supported by the group are currently in various stages of litigation in nine states, as well as a dozen other countries. The kids may just save the planet after all.


Managing editor, Earther

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Tough news for you Brian. The 9th Circuit isn’t referred to as the 9th Circus for nothing. They are the most overturned court in the Country and I would not doubt that the court itself is eliminated before 2024. (Congress does that, by the way. I’ll bet you didn’t know that.)

In military terms, this is at best a “delaying action”. The 9th punted. Rather than shitcan the suit entirely, they said “no, we aren’t done today”. Big deal.