“The 9th Circuit failed to correct the legal errors in the panel decision,” said the lead attorney in the case, who added that the case is now up to the nation’s highest court.
For the second time in as many years, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday rejected a landmark climate lawsuit brought by a group of young people—who say they will now take their case to the United States Supreme Court.
“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.” – Sahara V., plaintiff
The lawsuit argues that the federal government is directly fueling the climate crisis by maintaining an energy system that causes global heating, and that in doing so the government has violated the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights to life, liberty, property, public trust, and equal protection under the law.
The litigants—who were children and teenagers when their lawsuit was filed in 2015—had sought a second chance after a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court threw out the case by a vote of 2-1 last January.
In a scathing dissent to the 2020 ruling, Judge Josephine Staton wrote that “the government accepts as fact that the United States has reached a tipping point crying out for a concerted response—yet presses ahead toward calamity.”
“It is as if an asteroid were barreling toward Earth and the government decided to shut down our only defenses.” – Judge Josephine Staton, January 2020