JULIANA v. U.S. 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
Youth filed their constitutional climate lawsuit, called Juliana v. U.S., against the U.S. government in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon in 2015. Other plaintiffs in the case include world-renowned climate scientist Dr. James E. Hansen, serving as guardian for future generations and his granddaughter, and Earth Guardians, as an organizational plaintiff.
Their complaint asserts that, through the government's affirmative actions that cause climate change, it has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, as well as failed to protect essential public trust resources.
The fossil fuel industry initially intervened in the case as defendants, joining the U.S. government in trying to have the case dismissed. On April 8, 2016, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin recommended the denial of their motions to dismiss., and U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken upheld Judge Coffin's recommendation, with the issuance of an historic November 10, 2016 opinion and order that denied the motions. When the defendants sought an interlocutory appeal of that order, Judge Aiken denied the Trump administration's motions on June 8, 2017. The following day, the Trump administration filed a petition for "writ of mandamus" to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, seeking, again, to avert a trial. The Ninth Circuit has not requested the parties to submit briefs on the government’s petition, and could deny it without doing so.
On June 28, 2017, Judge Coffin issued an order releasing the fossil fuel industry defendants from the case, and setting a trial date for February 5, 2018 before Judge Aiken at the U.S. District Court of Oregon in Eugene. Youth plaintiffs, now age 9 to 21, and their attorneys are now preparing for trial!
Show your support with an RSVP on facebook!
Are you a lawyer looking to help out, pro bono? Please fill out this form to share your interest.
*Click here for timeline of the Alec L. v. McCarthy lawsuit we filed in 2011.