CNN claim: Feds are ‘trying to silence’ the ‘climate kids’ suing the Trump administration over global warming – ‘Alleging violations of their constitutional rights to a safe and livable atmosphere’
CNN: Feds are ‘trying to silence’ the kids suing the Trump administration over global warming.
(CNN) The “climate kids” were back on the steps of a federal courthouse in Oregon on Monday. But their case against the United States government, alleging violations of their constitutional rights to a safe and livable atmosphere in the face of runaway global warming, has dragged on for so long without a trial that some of them aren’t exactly kids anymore.
When the case was filed on their behalf in August 2015, Levi Draheim, the youngest plaintiff, was 8. Now he’s 11. He’s had to grow up considerably in those three years.
“I am a kid, and so I’m very impatient — and I’m impatient for a very good reason,” Levi said at a courthouse rally on Monday, his shock of sun-bleached hair barely peeking above a wooden podium. He spoke from a jotted list of notes, not from a script. “I live on a barrier island, and I have seen the sea level rise maps. I have personally had to evacuate my home because of hurricanes. I have seen fish kills on my beach, and I have seen changing weather — more and more hot days. That’s why it’s so important to move forward with this trial.”
The now slightly less young plaintiffs had expected to be inside the federal court on Monday — not outside on the steps in the rain, holding black umbrellas and protest signs that said things like “Let the youth be heard” and “Give science its day in court.”
After years of hearings, a trial date had been set for October 29.
But 10 days before trial, the US Supreme Court issued a stay that has temporarily halted proceedings. The court is considering the federal government’s petition for writ of mandamus, which the Department of Justice describes as an “extraordinary remedy” that should be used in “exceptional circumstances of peculiar emergency or public importance.”
Federal attorneys are questioning whether the kids have a right to “a climate system capable of sustaining human life” under the Constitution or public trust doctrine. They say federal authorities will waste time and money by responding to what they call “baseless claims.” And they argue in court filings it’s a violation of the separation of powers to ask courts essentially to impose climate-change policy on federal officials, rather than waiting for Congress or other elected officials to do that.
“In our view, the Oregon lawsuit is an unconstitutional attempt to use a single court to control the entire nation’s energy and climate policy,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood said during an October 19 speech in San Diego. “It is a matter of separation of powers and preserving the opportunity in our system of government for those policies to be decided by the elected branches, not the courts.
“… Beyond the legal defects,” he added, “the fallacies of the plaintiffs’ policy approaches are significant, as well. They are ignoring the clear fact that the United States is the global leader in environmental protection. Indeed, the United States leads the world in greenhouse gas reductions, and the United States is the global leader in the development of new energy technologies that are helping to reduce emissions.”