Americans have “no fundamental constitutional right to a 'stable climate system,'" the Trump administration argued in federal court, according to The Independent.
That argument came on Tuesday as the federal government insisted a lawsuit, brought by 21 young people over the government’s inaction on climate change, should not be permitted to move forward.
Despite meeting with continual success thus far — the lawsuit was filed in 2015 — in a recent setback, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit last November to have its merits revisited.
Jeffrey Bossert Clark, an assistant attorney general for the Justice Department, argued Tuesday that the lawsuit attempts to skirt the authorities of Congress and federal agencies. "It is a case that is a dagger at the separation of powers," he said. "This is a suit that is designed to circumvent a whole bunch of statutes."
The Trump administration is not the first to argue this point, with the Justice Department taking the same stance under former President Barack Obama, The Independent noted.
Still, Julia Olson, attorney for the plaintiffs and executive director of Our Children's Trust, remains confident her clients will emerge victorious.
"We've been confident throughout this case that we would get to trial, and I believe we will get to trial," she said. "We have overcome everything the government has thrown at us. It is not luck. It is the strength of the case and the strength of the evidence and the strength of the legal arguments we are making."
A climate change report produced by the federal government last year concluded that climate change "is transforming where and how we live and presents growing challenges to human health and quality of life, the economy, and the natural systems that support us." Further, it detailed the myriad environmental catastrophes that await if action is not taken.