Ninth Circuit Deals A Blow To Teen Climate Lawsuit

Feb 10, 2021

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has declined to hear a case brought by 21 young people against the government over climate change. The plaintiffs, still hope for a trial in Eugene federal court.

Youth plaintiffs and their attorneys in front of the federal courthouse in Eugene. The Juliana v. United States case was originally filed in Eugene in August of 2015.
Credit Rachael McDonald


The federal lawsuit claims the government created and maintained an energy system that relies on fossil fuels and causes climate change. It seeks relief from the courts on constitutional grounds. But, a panel of the ninth circuit ruled last year that courts lack authority to do so. They denied the plaintiffs’ request to have a full court hearing. Our Children’s’ Trust, the organization supporting the lawsuit, said they’ll ask the Supreme Court to hear their arguments. And they’re inviting the Biden-Harris Administration, the defendants in the suit, to come to the settlement table. 

Plaintiff Sahara V. said in a press release, “I hope and need the Biden administration to hear what the youth are saying, and to recognize how we are disproportionately affected by climate change and we will face the consequences of this administration’s actions and all the past administration’s actions. I hope that President Joe Biden will understand the crisis we’re in, stop fighting our claims and our rights, and will decide to come to the settlement table in our case.” 

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