The Supreme Court rejected on Monday the Trump administration’s request to stop the discovery process of obtaining evidence and depositions in a landmark lawsuit by young people hurt by climate change who are seeking stronger federal action.
“The breadth of respondents’ claims is striking, however, and the justiciability of those claims presents substantial grounds for difference of opinion,” the justices wrote in a Monday notice.
The case, which is known in lower courts as Juliana v. United States, was filed in 2015 by 21 child and young adult plaintiffs, represented by climate scientist James Hansen.
The Hill added:
The Justice Department turned to the Supreme Court earlier this month to halt discovery after both the Oregon court and the San Francisco-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit turned down their pleas to stop the case’s progression.
Administration attorneys sent their Supreme Court petition last month to retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. He referred it to the full nine-justice court for a vote.
Monday’s order did not say how the justices voted, but a five-justice majority is necessary for the kind of stay the administration wanted.
Trump administration officials have tried numerous times to stop the case or the discovery process.
“This suit is an attempt to redirect federal environmental and energy policies through the courts rather than through the political process, by asserting a new and unsupported fundamental due process right to certain climate conditions,” the Justice Department wrote last month to the Supreme Court.
“Absent relief from the Ninth Circuit or this Court, the government will be forced to participate in a highly compacted period of discovery and trial preparation followed by a 50-day trial, all of which will itself violate bedrock limitations on agency decisionmaking and the judicial process.”
The denial by the 9th Circuit earlier this month was the second time the administration has sought an emergency order from that court to stop discovery.
“We denied the government’s first mandamus petition, concluding that it had not met the high bar for relief at that stage of the litigation,” that court’s judges wrote. “No new circumstances justify this second petition, and we again decline to grant mandamus relief.”