Plaintiffs Move To Drop President Donald Trump From Climate Lawsuit In Latest Arguments

Jul 18, 2018

Credit (Alec Cowan/KLCC)

Attorneys for 21 youths suing the government moved Wednesday to drop President Donald Trump from their climate change lawsuit. This was during a two hour hearing at the Eugene federal courthouse before Judge Ann Aiken. 

Attendees gathered with bright blue signs and filled three courtrooms at the hearing. Attorneys for the government are trying once again to prevent the lawsuit from going to trial.

Plaintiff Kelsey Juliana’s initial reaction is shock:

"It’s frankly a little embarrassing to sit in that court room for two hours and just watch your attorneys from the Department of Justice of the United States government just basically be uneloquent, at a loss for words, trying to articulate points to dismiss you and say you don’t have a standing."

Plaintiffs hope to hold the government constitutionally liable for climate change by creating a link between the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and the destructive effects of natural disasters.

The plaintiffs agreed to drop President Trump from the list of defendants to help narrow the argument.

Attorney Julia Olson says the case is just getting started:

"Well it feels like we’re getting to the beginning of the starting line, actually. I mean it's going to be a very intense time as we get all the experts ready for testimony and trial and do the depositions. And then being ready to role for eight to ten weeks of trial in the fall." 

Plaintiffs will now move to address the defendants’ request for an emergency stay from the Supreme Court, which could keep the case from going forward. The trial is scheduled to begin October 29.