Juliana v. United States​​ moves forward, again

Robin Loznak

The United States Supreme Court denied the Trump administration’s application for stay in the landmark constitutional climate lawsuit, ​Juliana v. United States​. The lawsuit, brought by 21 young Americans and supported by Our Children’s Trust, is back on track for trial. 

Julia Olson​​, ​executive director and chief legal counsel of ​Our Children’s Trust​​ and co-counsel for the youth plaintiffs said: 

Seven of the justices found the Defendants did not have a "fair prospect" of success on their petition for writ of mandamus, one of the factors necessary for the Court to stay lower court proceedings. Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch would have granted the application. 

The Supreme Court issued a ​narrow order​ considering only one of the two factors for granting a stay of a case in a lower court. The first factor is whether there is a “fair prospect” that at least five justices would vote to grant mandamus and the second factor is whether the government is likely to suffer irreparable harm if the stay is not granted. The Court did not reach the irreparable harm factor in its order, because it found as to the first factor: 

Earlier, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals also issued the following order denying the Trump administration’s third writ of mandamus petition to the Ninth Circuit for a stay: 

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

Kelsey Juliana​​, 22-year-old plaintiff from Eugene, Oregon said: 

Juliana v. United States​ is ​not​ about the government’s failure to act on climate. Instead, these​ 21 young plaintiffs between the ages of 11 and 22, assert that the U.S. government, through its ​affirmative actions in creating a national energy system that causes climate change, is depriving them of their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property.​ 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. 

Last updated November 12, 2018

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