U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken has scheduled a new oral argument hearing for the landmark climate lawsuit for September 13, at 10:00 am in Eugene, Oregon at the Wayne Morse Federal Courthouse.
On April 8, 2016, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin of the Federal District Court in Eugene, Oregon, ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. Judge Coffin wrote,
"The debate about climate change and its impact has been before various political bodies for some time now. Plaintiffs give this debate justiciability by asserting harms that befall or will befall them personally and to a greater extent than older segments of society. It may be that eventually the alleged harms, assuming the correctness of plaintiffs' analysis of the impacts of global climate change, will befall all of us. But the intractability of the debates before Congress and state legislatures and the alleged valuing of short term economic interest despite the cost to human life, necessitates a need for the courts to evaluate the constitutional parameters of the action or inaction taken by the government. This is especially true when such harms have an alleged disparate impact on a discrete class of society." (Read excerpts from Judge Coffin's ruling) (Read the court's order)
The 21 youth plaintiffs will have the opportunity to again appear in court to have their arguments presented to Judge Aiken. Judge Aiken was given the job of reviewing U.S. Magistrate Judge Coffin's April ruling.
World-renowned climate scientist Dr. James E. Hansen is also a Plaintiff in the case, serving as the guardian for future generations as well as his granddaughter, Sophie Kivlehan.
The complaint asserts that, "in causing climate change, the federal government has violated the youngest generation's constitutional rights to life, liberty, property, as well as failed to protect essential public trust resources." (Our Children's Trust)
We are excited to be in attendance at the hearing, documenting this landmark case and the youth stories. Stay posted for updates and details about the hearing!