A federal appellate court has declined the Justice Department’s request to bring an early end to a lawsuit brought on behalf of 21 young people who claim the federal government is failing to address climate change and provide a livable climate.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday denied the DOJ’s petition for a writ of mandamus, finding the request to knock out the lawsuit was “entirely premature.” The unanimous panel decision written by Chief Judge Sidney Thomas noted the government’s complaints about “potentially burdensome discovery” seemed out of place given the government lawyers hadn’t asked the trial judge for any ruling narrowing the plaintiffs’ discovery requests. Thomas also found that though the case raises issues of first impression, it should be allowed to run its course before the appellate court addresses the merits.

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