Trump Administration Keeps Trying To Get Rid Of Teen Climate Case

Jun 14, 2017

The Trump Administration is trying to get the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to throw out the federal climate lawsuit brought by 21 youth plaintiffs. In the latest move, it’s asked for a writ of mandamus, a rarely used legal maneuver.

Kelsey Juliana of Eugene is one of 21 youths suing the U.S. government over climate change.
Credit Rachael McDonald

A Writ of Mandamus is when a higher court tells a lower court its decision is invalid. Federal Judge Ann Aiken of Eugene, last week, re-affirmed her decision that the case should go to trial. Plaintiffs’ attorneys say the request for a Writ of Mandamus is an aggressive move on the part of the government. They cite Yale Law Professor Douglas Kysar who says the writ is, quote, “…reserved for the most extraordinary and compelling situations in which ordinary rules of appellate procedure must be overridden to avoid a manifest injustice. For the Trump Justice Department to even seek a writ of mandamus in the current context is offensive to Judge Aiken, to the entire federal judiciary, and, indeed, to the rule of law itself.” Unquote. It’s unusual for an Appeals Court to rule on a case that hasn’t yet been decided. Juliana Versus the United States is in the discovery phase now and is expected to go to trial in early 2018. But the government is dragging its feet on producing discovery materials requested by the plaintiff’s attorneys.

More information: Our Children's Trust