Feds are ‘trying to silence’ the kids suing the Trump administration over global warming

Updated 2:56 PM EDT, Tue October 30, 2018
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(CNN) —  

The “climate kids” were back on the steps of a federal courthouse in Oregon on Monday. But their case against the United States government, alleging violations of their constitutional rights to a safe and livable atmosphere in the face of runaway global warming, has dragged on for so long without a trial that some of them aren’t exactly kids anymore.

When the case was filed on their behalf in August 2015, Levi Draheim, the youngest plaintiff, was 8. Now he’s 11. He’s had to grow up considerably in those three years.

“I am a kid, and so I’m very impatient – and I’m impatient for a very good reason,” Levi said at a courthouse rally on Monday, his shock of sun-bleached hair barely peeking above a wooden podium. He spoke from a jotted list of notes, not from a script. “I live on a barrier island, and I have seen the sea level rise maps. I have personally had to evacuate my home because of hurricanes. I have seen fish kills on my beach, and I have seen changing weather – more and more hot days. That’s why it’s so important to move forward with this trial.”

The now slightly less young plaintiffs had expected to be inside the federal court on Monday – not outside on the steps in the rain, holding black umbrellas and protest signs that said things like “Let the youth be heard” and “Give science its day in court.”

After years of hearings, a trial date had been set for October 29.

But 10 days before trial, the US Supreme Court issued a stay that has temporarily halted proceedings. The court is considering the federal government’s petition for writ of mandamus, which the