21 kids between the ages of 9 and 20 are suing the government for violating their rights to "life, liberty, and property" by causing climate change and failing to stop it.
According to Our Children's Trust, the advocacy group assisting their efforts, "their complaint asserts that, through the governments affirmative actions in causing climate change, has violated the youngest generation's constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property as well as failed to protect essential public trust resources."
This is not a school project.
At the time the lawsuit was filed in 2015, the plaintiffs named then-president Barack Obama as a defendant. And that guy actually believed in climate change. According to Business Insider, they've now switched his name out for the new president, Donald Trump. And Donald Trump once said this. Not to mention, here's the guy Trump has running his Environmental Protection Agency:
In November, "the case cleared a major early hurdle," in the words of the Washington Post, when U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken denied the Obama administration and the fossil fuel industry's motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
We're going to trial, kids!
But not so fast... the Trump administration appealed Aiken's decision to go to trial, and are fighting another motion by the plaintiffs (as a reminder: kids) asking the Department of Justice to preserve any information on climate change the government might otherwise destroy/remove from federal websites, the Washington Post reports.
Stay tuned for more information as the case unfolds. But for now, take this final quote from the Washington Post. Here are the stakes:
"If the case were successful, the federal government would be obligated to take meaningful action against climate change, probably through a planned reduction in greenhouse gas emissions."
Oh, kids. They are the future. And also the present.