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Teens Finally Get Their Day in Court Tuesday

Rachael McDonald

A lawsuit brought against the state by two Eugene teens will finally get its day in court Tuesday. The suit asks the Oregon governor to do more to prevent climate change.

Olivia Chernaik and Kelsey Juliana will appear in Lane County District Court before Judge Karsten Rasmussen. Their case asks the judge to recognize that lawmakers hold natural resources, including air and water, in public trust and those resources must be preserved for the future.

Kelsey Juliana was a freshman in high school when she first filed the lawsuit. Now she's a freshman in college.

Kelsey: "This is a pivotal moment where the youth have to decide, are we going to wait until it's our time to take leadership for our own future or are we going to step up now and harness our own leadership and really push forward with the future that we want to see?"

Judge Rasmussen dismissed the suit when it was first brought to court. But the Oregon Court of Appeals last year sent the case back to Lane County Courts. Our Children's' Trust is sponsoring similar lawsuits across the country.


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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