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of Boulder County

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Update on Climate Change Lawsuit

Toni Larson  | Published on 7/4/2018
   Juliana v. United States is the climate change lawsuit brought by Our Children's Trust. The 21 youth plaintiffs are alleging that the government is violating their constitutional rights by promoting the development and use of fossil fuels, despite knowing for decades that fossil fuels are destroying the climate system. 

   In March 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the plaintiffs' landmark case can move forward. 

   In a unanimous ruling, Chief Judge Sidney R. Thomas denied the Trump administration’s motion to dismiss the case under a rarely used procedure called a writ of mandamus, in which a case essentially leapfrogs over the usual legal venues. Judge Thomas wrote that a “writ of mandamus is a drastic and extraordinary remedy reserved for really extraordinary cases” and that the Trump administration’s motion failed to meet that standard. The issues raised by the case “are better addressed through the ordinary course of litigation,” the chief judge wrote, pointing out that the case hasn’t even reached the discovery stage yet. 

  During a public case management conference on April 12th, 2018, the U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin set October 29, 2018, as the trial date for Juliana v. United States.