U.S. Supreme Court temporarily halts Eugene youth climate trial

The trial was scheduled to be held in Eugene Oct. 29.

Posted: Oct 19, 2018 5:44 PM
Updated: Oct 19, 2018 7:40 PM

UPDATE: The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily blocked a high-profile climate change lawsuit that 21 young activists brought against the federal government.

The order issued Friday by Chief Justice John Roberts freezes trial proceedings in U.S. District Court in Oregon until lawyers for the young people provide a response and until another court order.

Justice Department lawyers had asked the high court Thursday to dismiss the case before it went to trial Oct. 29.

The lawsuit alleges the federal government has violated young people's constitutional rights through policies that have caused a dangerous climate.

They have said their generation bears the brunt of climate change and that the government has an obligation to protect natural resources for present and future generations.

The young activists have until Wednesday to provide a response.

Julia Olson, the co-counsel for the youth plaintiffs, said they are confident the trial will proceed when the court receives that response, and that the case has been mischaracterized by the federal government.

"This case is about already recognized fundamental rights and children's rights of equal protection under the law," Olson said.

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SEATTLE (AP) -- The U.S. government is trying again to stop a high-profile climate change lawsuit days before young activists are set to argue at trial that the government has violated their constitutional rights through policies that have caused a dangerous climate.

Justice Department lawyers on Thursday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to dismiss the case, saying the lawsuit attempts to redirect federal environmental policies through the courts rather than through the political process.

The court in July denied the government's previous request to dismiss the case as premature.

A group of 21 young activists sued in federal court in 2015 claiming government officials have known for decades that carbon pollution from fossil fuels was causing climate change and have taken actions that deprive them of a safe climate.

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