Raging Grannies Eugene
The so-called “climate kids” have cleared another pretrial hurdle in their federal lawsuit against the government.
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday rejected a request from the Trump administration to get the case dismissed. The court earlier this year reached a similar ruling after government officials made a previous request for relief.
In a written decision issued Friday, the court concluded that “no new circumstances justify this second (request from the government), and we again decline to grant” the request.
A group of 21 youths ages 11 to 22 — six of them Eugene residents — filed suit in 2015, asserting their constitutional rights are being violated by a government that has known about the dangers of climate change for decades but nonetheless promotes fossil fuel production while failing to protect the nation’s natural resources.
The suit seeks a court order that requires the government to develop and implement a national plan that works to drastically reduce carbon emissions.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs say the government’s repeated attempts to get the case dismissed are part of a strategy designed to avoid going to trial on the merits of the case.
A trial in U.S. District Court in Eugene is scheduled to begin Oct. 29. A judge will hear evidence in the case, so no jury will be seated.
“Candidly, the worst nightmare for the Trump administration is for this case to go to trial, where it will have to confront the stories of these young plaintiffs and the climate science and the constitutional law of our nation,” one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, Philip Gregory, said Friday in a statement. “As the Ninth Circuit opinion found, the government has made no showing that it would be meaningfully prejudiced by engaging in discovery or trial.”
Government attorneys repeatedly have argued the lawsuit is improper. They say national climate policy must be decided as part of the political process, rather than in the courts.
The government also asserts the plaintiffs lack standing to sue, and that the lawsuit fails to state valid legal claims.
Earlier this week, U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco asked the U.S. Supreme Court to suspend proceedings in the case. The plaintiffs intend to respond to the government’s request by Monday.
Meanwhile, Judge Ann Aiken will soon issue a ruling in connection with separate motions filed by the government that seek the case’s dismissal. Aiken heard arguments on those motions Wednesday in Eugene. She previously cleared the case for trial.
STUDENTS ARRIVING AT THE COURTHOUSE FROM OREGON SCHOOLS IN SUPPORT OF THEIR PEERS
JULIANA V. UNITED STATES CLIMATE
TRIAL SET FOR OCTOBER 29, 2018
Eugene, Oregon -- During a public case management conference today, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas
Coffin set October 29, 2018 as the trial date for Juliana v. United States , the constitutional climate lawsuit
brought by 21 young people and supported by Our Children’s Trust. The trial will be heard before U.S.
District Court Judge Ann Aiken in Eugene, Oregon.
Julia Olson , executive director and chief legal counsel of Our Children’s Trust and co-lead counsel for
youth plaintiffs said:
“We have our trial date. In the coming months there will be depositions of the parties, defendants’
disclosure of their experts, and expert depositions in late summer. We will build a full factual
record for trial so that the Court can make the best informed decision in this crucial constitutional
DOJ attorneys representing the Trump administration told Judge Coffin that the trial date he set “won’t
work” for defendants. They claimed they needed additional time to address expert witness reports and
find rebuttal experts for every one of plaintiffs’ experts, to which Judge Coffin asked:
“Where am I missing something? Given your admissions in this case, what is it about the science
that you intend to contest with your rebuttal witnesses?”
The Court also made it clear that it is not going to make decisions on summary judgment motions before
the full record at trial, despite defendants’ intentions to move to summary judgment prior to October 29.
Sophie Kivlehan , 19-year-old plaintiff from Allentown, Pennsylvania said:
“It is a relief to see that the Court understands how imperative it is to get this trial underway as
soon as possible, despite all of the delay tactics the U.S. government continues to try to use. I am
so excited to have an official trial date on the calendar again so that we can finally bring our
voices and our evidence into the courtroom!”
Phil Gregory , of Gregory Law Group and co-lead counsel for the youth plaintiffs commented:
“By setting a trial date of October 29, 2018 the court clearly recognizes the urgency of the climate
crisis. Further, the court stressed that the science should not be in dispute and that the case should
be able to proceed in a streamlined fashion. On October 29th climate science will finally have its
day in court and the plaintiffs will be ready.”
Juliana v. United States is not about the government’s failure to act on climate. Instead, the 21 young
plaintiffs assert that the U.S. government, through its affirmative actions in creating a national energy
system that cause climate change, has violated their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, and
has failed to protect essential public trust resources. The case is one of many related legal actions brought
by youth in several states and countries, all supported by Our Children’s Trust, and all seeking
science-based action by governments to stabilize the climate system.
Counsel for Plaintiffs are Julia Olson, Esq. of Eugene, OR and Philip L. Gregory, Esq. of Gregory Law Group.
Our Children’s Trust is a nonprofit organization, leading a coordinated global human rights and environmental justice campaign to implement enforceable science-based Climate Recovery Plans that will return atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations to below 350 ppm by the year 2100. We elevate the voice of youth, those with most to lose in the climate crisis, to secure the legal right to a healthy atmosphere and stable climate on behalf of all present and future generations. www.ourchildrenstrust.org/
Earth Guardians is a Colorado-based nonprofit organization with youth chapters on five continents, and multiple groups in the United States with thousands of members working together to protect the Earth, the water, the air, and the atmosphere, creating healthy sustainable communities globally. We inspire and empower young leaders, families, schools, organizations, cities, and government officials to make positive change locally, nationally, and globally to address the critical state of the Earth. www.earthguardians.org
Salem, Oregon, December 9, 2016: Raging Grannies standing in front of the Department of State Lands building behind the plaintiff, Kelsey Juliana, 20 from Eugene, Oregon – supporting her, making clear she is not alone.
Appeals court denies federal motion in “climate kids” case
APRIL 12, 2018
BREAKING: Juliana v. US Trial to Begin on October 29, 2018.
HERE ARE THE YOUTH PLAINTIFFS!!!
JOYFUL AND FULL OF HOPE!!!
JULY 21, 2018
OUR CHILDREN'S TRUST - LANDMARK U.S. FEDERAL CLIMATE LAWSUIT
“Exercising my ‘reasoned judgment,’ I have no doubt that the right to a climate system capable of sustaining human life is fundamental to a free and ordered society.” –U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken
On November 10, 2016 Judge Ann Aiken issued an opinion and order denying the U.S. government and fossil fuel industry’s motions to dismiss a constitutional climate change lawsuit filed by 21 youth. The decision means that the youth, age 9 to 20 and from all over the U.S., now have standing because their rights are at stake, and now their case is headed to trial. Link - original article:
For immediate release:
March 7, 2018
Ninth Circuit Rules in Favor of Youth Plaintiffs, Rejects Trump’s Attempt to
Evade Constitutional Climate Trial
San Francisco - Today, Chief Judge Sidney R. Thomas, writing for a unanimous three-judge panel of the
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Trump administration’s “drastic and extraordinary” petition
for writ of mandamus in the landmark climate lawsuit, Juliana v. United States, brought by 21 youth
supported by Our Children’s Trust. The Court ruled that the Juliana case can proceed toward trial in the
U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon and that the Trump administration had not satisfied the
factors necessary for an extraordinary writ of mandamus. The three-judge panel consisted of Chief Judge
Sidney Thomas, and Circuit Judges Marsha Berzon and Michelle Friedland. Judge Friedland replaced
Alex Kozinski on the panel after he resigned on December 18, 2017, one week after oral argument was
held on the petition.
Julia Olson, executive director and chief legal counsel of Our Children’s Trust and co-counsel for
youth plaintiffs said:
“The Ninth Circuit just gave us the green light for trial. We will ask the District Court for a trial
date in 2018 where we will put the federal government’s dangerous energy system and climate
policies on trial for infringing the constitutional rights of young people.”
Counsel for Plaintiffs are Julia Olson, Esq. of Eugene, OR and Philip L. Gregory, Esq. of Cotchett, Pitre
& McCarthy of Burlingame, CA