Raging Grannies Eugene


For immediate release:
March 7, 2018


Julia Olson, 415-786-4825, julia@ourchildrenstrust.org
Philip Gregory, 650-697-6000, pgregory@gregorylawgroup.com

To set up interviews with youth plaintiffs, contact:
Meg Ward, 503-341-8590, meg@ourchildrenstrust.org

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.”

The Trump administration’s mandamus petition sought early review of U.S. District Court Judge Ann
Aiken’s 2016 denial of motions to dismiss the youth’s lawsuit, which seeks a constitutionally compliant

national energy system and science-based climate recovery action by the federal government. Rejecting
the government’s position in their petition, the Ninth Circuit ruled that the federal government had not

established that it was harmed by any discovery order and had not met the factors for issuing an
extraordinary writ. The Court concluded:

“There is enduring value in the orderly administration of litigation by the trial courts, free of
needless appellate interference. In turn, appellate review is aided by a developed record and full
consideration of issues by the trial courts. If appellate review could be invoked whenever a
district court denied a motion to dismiss, we would be quickly overwhelmed with such requests,
and the resolution of cases would be unnecessarily delayed.”

Like any other defendant who loses their motion to dismiss, the U.S. defendants must participate in
discovery and defend themselves at trial, even though it will take time and resources to do so. That is the
structure of our legal system.

Victoria Barrett​, 18-year-old plaintiff from White Plains, New York, said:
“Today, the Ninth Circuit sided with progress. I’m grateful that my fellow plaintiffs and I can
have our voices heard, and that climate science can have its day in court. The Trump
administration tried to avoid trial, but they can’t ignore us. Our future is our choice and I believe
the courts will stand with our constitutional rights.”

Kiran Oommen​, 21-year-old plaintiff from Seattle, Washington, said:
“The question of the last few years has not been ‘do we have a case’ but rather ‘how far will the
federal government go to prevent justice.’ We have seen that they are willing to go to many
lengths to cover up their crimes and maintain the status quo, but not even the Trump
administration can go far enough to escape the inevitable tide of social progress. The Ninth
Circuit’s decision affirms that we are on the side of justice, and for justice we are moving
forward. We’ll see you in court.”

Tia Hatton​, 20-year-old plaintiff from Bend, Oregon, said:
“The Ninth Circuit has denied the U.S. government’s inappropriate writ of mandamus, yet
another step that the our federal government took to delay a revealing trial. This favorable
decision allows us 21 youth to share expert testimonies of climate dangers in the face of existing
fossil fuel energy policies. My greatest hope in addressing climate change lays in a successful
trial, where the only acceptable outcome is a court-ordered science-based climate recovery plan.”

Sahara Valentine​, 13-year-old plaintiff from Eugene, Oregon, said:
“To our supporters: be ready for the new trial date and plan on being with us at the court house

here, in Eugene, where our voices will be heard.”

Philip L. Gregory ​of Gregory Law Group, co-lead counsel for the youth plaintiffs commented:

“The Ninth Circuit clearly recognized the importance of a complete record at trial particularly as
to the climate science. We will promptly ask the District Court for a trial date in 2018 so that the
urgency of the climate crisis can be addressed through appropriate remedies.”

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 Cotchett, Pitre
& McCarthy of Burlingame, CA

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.

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 of icials to make positive

change locally, nationally, and globally to address the critical state of the Earth.


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.





“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: