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Court Panel Says Youth Climate Case Should Not Go To Trial

Alec Cowan

In a split decision, a 3-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals says a youth led lawsuit over climate change should not go to trial. 

Juliana v United States claims the government has long known about the effects of climate change and that it is human caused. The lawsuit asks the courts to order the government to stop subsidizing the fossil fuel industry and make a plan to reverse the effects of climate change. In its decision, the court agrees with the premise of the case. But says it is beyond the power of the courts to order or implement the plaintiffs’ requests. It says the young people should take their case to the political branches or the electorate. An attorney for the 21 young plaintiffs says they will ask the full court to review the panels’ ruling.

Kelsey Juliana, the lead plaintiff in the case, says she's still hopeful and she's not giving up on getting the case to trial. 

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
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