A federal appeals court in Oregon on Thursday granted a motion from the Trump administration for a temporary stay in a lawsuit brought forward by a group of young people who argue that the government is violating their rights by not adequately battling climate change.
The Associated Press reported Thursday that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted a 15-day stay in the case for either it or the Supreme Court to consider a motion by the Trump administration to dismiss the case.
“As set forth fully in the accompanying memorandum of law, a stay is warranted because…Defendants will be irreparably harmed absent a stay; Plaintiffs will not be harmed by a stay; and the public interest will be well-served by a stay in order to facilitate the review by the Ninth Circuit that the Supreme Court contemplated,” the Trump administration wrote in its court filing earlier this week.
Philip Gregory, a co-counsel for the plaintiffs, told the AP that he hoped the temporary stay would be followed by the trial proceeding as planned. The lawsuit argues that the federal government has known about the effects of climate change for 50 years, and is depriving them of life, liberty and property by doing little or nothing to stop it.
“Given the urgency of climate change, we hope the Ninth Circuit will recognize the importance to these young Americans of having a prompt trial date,” Gregory said.
“We are pleased this stay is only temporary,” he added. “We want to commence presenting the climate science in court as soon as possible.”
The Supreme Court rejected a request from the Trump administration last week to halt the lawsuit, but wrote that the federal government can still petition a lower court to dismiss the case.
The Obama and Trump administrations have battled the lawsuit for years, arguing that the case would force the federal government to make policy decisions through the court system rather than prescribed legislative processes.