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Leagues Support the Kids; Mandamus denied – The Most Important Lawsuit on the Planet heads to court!

Leagues Support the Kids; Mandamus denied – The Most Important Lawsuit on the Planet heads to court!

The 9th Circuit panel denied without prejudice a petition for a writ of mandamus in which federal defendants sought an order directing the district court to dismiss a case seeking various environmental remedies.

March 9, 2018

Contact: Norman Turrill, President, LWV of Oregon, n.turrill@lwvor.org, 503-807-4863

San Francisco, Washington, DC, and Eugene, Oregon – This week, Chief Judge Sidney R. Thomas, writing for a unanimous three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Trump administration’s “drastic and extraordinary” petition for writ of mandamus in the landmark climate lawsuit, Juliana v. United States, brought by 21 youth supported by Our Children’s Trust. The Court ruled that the Juliana case can proceed toward trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon and that the Trump administration had not satisfied the factors necessary for an extraordinary writ of mandamus.

Julia Olson, who represented the plaintiffs and is executive director of Our Children’s Trust, which advocates for improving the climate, in an interview welcomed the decision. “It’s very exciting,” she said. “It will be the first time that climate science and the federal government’s role in creating its dangers will go on trial in a U.S. court.”

The League of Women Voters of Oregon (LWVOR) and the League of Women Voters United States (LWVUS) have amici standing in this case and are represented by Crag Law Center, a nonprofit law group based in Portland, Ore. Briefs were filed in Sept. 2016 and Sept. 2017. The most recent brief is Amici Curiae in Opposition to Writ of Mandamus (League of Women Voters).

The League supports the 21 young people from across the United States who have filed a landmark constitutional climate change lawsuit against the federal government, via the Eugene, Oregon-based organization, Our Children’s Trust. The complaint asserts that, in causing climate change, the federal government has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, as well as failed to protect essential public trust resources. The courts have a duty to safeguard individuals’ rights where the other branches have failed to do so. These Youth Plaintiffs are reliant on the judicial branch to declare their rights, and the District Court is the proper venue to develop the case record and decide the merits of these “vitally important issues.”