Climate change protesters are claiming victory in their effort to present an unusual "necessity defense" against felony charges stemming from efforts to shut down oil pipelines.
The Minnesota Supreme Court declined Wednesday to review a ruling by the Minnesota Court of Appeals that backed the protesters, who will still face an uphill legal battle when their case goes to trial this fall.
Emily Johnston and Annette Klapstein acknowledge turning the emergency shut-off valves on two pipelines in 2016 in Clearwater County of northwestern Minnesota as part of a coordinated nationwide action. Eleven activists were charged in all.
• Rivers of Oil: A podcast on how we all have a role to play in the pipeline story
The Court of Appeals ruled in April the two Seattle-area women can argue that they believe the threat of climate change from Canadian tar sands crude is so imminent that they were justified.