Trial date set for groundbreaking kids’ climate lawsuit
"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."

Lorraine Chow <> / EcoWatch 
<> / 
News Report - April 14, 2018

A trial date of Oct. 29 has been set for a landmark climate change 
<> lawsuit brought by a group of young 
Americans despite the Trump <> 
administration’s efforts to halt the case 

Juliana v. United States 
<> was filed in 2015 on 
behalf of 21 plaintiffs who ranged between 8 to 19 years old at the time. They 
allege their constitutional and public trust rights are being violated by the 
government’s creation of a national energy 
<> system that causes dangerous climate 

The trial will be heard before U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken in Eugene, 
Oregon, according to Our Children’s Trust <>, 
the non-profit group supporting the plaintiffs. Aiken joined the court in 1998 
after being nominated by President Bill Clinton.

“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 case,” said 
Julia Olson, executive director of Our Children’s Trust and co-lead counsel for 
the youth plaintiffs, in a statement.

The lawsuit was originally filed against President Obama’s government before 
President Trump took office. Incidentally, just days before the case was turned 
over to the Trump administration, Obama’s Justice Department lawyers 
 admitted many of the young plaintiff’s scientific claims were true, including 
carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations have increased to greater than 400 parts 
per million.

Additionally, the federal defendants admitted that fossil fuel 
<> extraction, development and 
consumption produce CO2 emissions and that past emissions of CO2 from such 
activities have increased the atmospheric concentration of CO2.

The Trump administration sought an appeal of the case, but last month, a 
three-judge panel with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco 
denied the White House’s writ of mandamus petition, a rarely used legal 
maneuver that would have dismissed the case.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin set the trial date for this Fall despite 
Trump’s DOJ attorneys saying the date “won’t work” for the defendants.

They claimed they needed additional time to address expert witness reports and 
find rebuttal 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?”

According to Courthouse News 
 “U.S. Attorney Marissa Piropato answered that the dispute lies not in 
disagreement over whether climate change exists, but rather with the kids’ 
conclusion that climate change imperils their future.”

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.”

“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,” Sophie Kivlehan, 19-year-old 
plaintiff from Allentown, Pennsylvania said. “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!”

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