Kids climate case plaintiffs had success in their last hearing in federal court in Eugene, Ore.The last time the kids climate case Juliana v. United States was argued in federal court in Eugene, Ore., they emerged with a historic ruling. Photo credit: Robin Loznak

By Karen Savage

A federal judge will hear oral arguments next Wednesday on a motion by the federal government seeking to dismiss President Trump from the landmark climate suit filed by 21 young people from across the country.

The Trump administration also contends that the case should proceed under the Administrative Procedures Act and not under federal common law. The APA provides procedures for judicial review if someone claims injury from the actions of a federal agency. This motion, the plaintiffs say, has already been rejected by the court.

Oral arguments —the first in the case since September 2016—will be heard on Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken in Eugene, Ore. The motion was filed in May by Justice Department attorneys.

The case—Juliana v. United States—was originally filed in August 2015 by 21 young plaintiffs who allege that by encouraging and promoting fossil fuel development, the federal government is contributing to climate change, is violating the public trust doctrine and is denying their constitutional rights to life, liberty and property.

It is the first case in which a U.S. court has recognized the constitutional right to a safe climate and is currently scheduled for trial Oct. 29 in Aiken’s court in Eugene.

The Trump administration has made several attempts to dismiss the case and thwart discovery, all to no avail.  In its latest filing—a second petition for writ of mandamus, an extraordinary appeal rarely granted before the outcome of a case—the federal government said it will appeal to the Supreme Court if the request is not granted.

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