Northwest UU Justice Network

Climate Youth Case Moves Closer to the Courtroom

 

YOUTH PLAINTIFFS PROPOSE DECEMBER 4TH CLIMATE TRIAL, TRUMP ADMINISTRATION PUSHES BACK

“Today was a success. We have firm dates for exchanging expert reports, which is a huge part of the evidence that gets us to trial.”- Julia Olson, co-lead counsel

“The government can delay all they want, but time isn’t gonna make their case.” - Kiran Oommen, 20, of Eugene, Oregon, 

“We want off the bus.”-Attorneys representing all three dirty energy industry associations defendants

In a case management conference today, the Trump Administration pushed back against a proposed December 4, 2017 trial date in the youth climate case, Juliana v. United States.

Two weeks ago on 6/7/17 Judge Ann Aiken shut down a rare path to early review by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, with an order denying the U.S. government and fossil fuel industry’s motions seeking an interlocutory appeal.   Demonstrating their desperation on Friday, 6/8/17 the Trump administration reacted with a petition filed to the Ninth Circuit, seeking a writ of mandamus.  That will be a very hard sell and not likely to succeed.  

Meanwhile on Thursday 6/15/17, Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin adopted most of the discovery deadlines and a timeline to trial proposed by attorneys for youth plaintiffs, with one major exception. The US government defendants, represented by the Department of Justice, pushed back on a trial date for December 4th. Judge Coffin is requiring plaintiffs and defendants to each submit a “trial memorandum” by that date, outlining what issues the parties will present at trial. Judge Coffin told the parties, “this court is committed to trying to expedite this given the urgency of the issues presented…”

Plaintiffs plan to have all of their expert reports submitted to the court by July 31st, and the government is ordered to produce their rebuttal expert reports on October 13th.

Today’s case management conference took place at the Wayne L. Morse U.S. Courthouse in Eugene, Oregon.

Avery McRae, 11, of Eugene, Oregon, one of 21 youth plaintiffs, said:

“It’s crazy that we even have to have this conversation...I am ready for trial!”

Kiran Oommen, 20, of Eugene, Oregon, one of 21 youth plaintiffs, said:

“The government can delay all they want, but time isn’t gonna make their case.”

Alex Loznak, 20, of Roseburg, Oregon, one of the 21 youth plaintiffs, said:

“Onward! I enjoyed attending today’s case management conference, as well as the closed-door meet and confer session between our attorneys and the defendants. It’s great to see the case coming together as our team assembles evidence and builds our factual case for trial.”

Julia Olson, co-lead counsel for plaintiffs and executive director of Our Children’s Trust, said:

“Today was a success. We have firm dates for exchanging expert reports, which is a huge part of the evidence that gets us to trial.”

Last month, motions were filed by all three fossil fuel industry intervenor-defendants: the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Petroleum Institute, and the American Fuel & and Petrochemical Manufacturers requesting the court’s permission to withdraw from the litigation. For any defendant to leave the litigation, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin must grant permission. At today’s case management conference, Frank R. Volpe, Sidley Austin, representing all three associations, affirmed to the court, “We want off the bus.” The intervenors will be filing a joint response to the court by next Thursday, June 22, on their pending withdrawal. Judge Coffin indicated that he would rule on the intervenors’ motions to withdraw soon thereafter.

Juliana v. United States was brought by 21 young plaintiffs, and Earth Guardians, who argue that their constitutional and public trust rights are being violated by the government’s creation of climate danger. The case is one of many related legal actions brought by youth in several states and countries, all supported by Our Children’s Trust, seeking science-based action by governments to stabilize the climate system.

Counsel for Plaintiffs include Philip L. Gregory, Esq. of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy of Burlingame, CA, Daniel M. Galpern Esq. and Julia Olson, Esq. of Eugene, OR.

Our Children's Trust is a nonprofit organization, elevating the voice of youth, those with most to lose, to secure the legal right to a healthy atmosphere and stable climate on behalf of present and future generations. We lead a coordinated global human rights and environmental justice campaign to implement enforceable science-based Climate Recovery Plans that will return atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration to below 350 ppm by the year 2100. 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

 

 

Glossary

Citation

Piazzon, G. (2017). Climate Youth Case Moves Closer to the Courtroom. Retrieved from http://www.nwuujn.org/view/news/5946c7f60cf2204d222e15c9

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