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Ninth Circuit Court Grants Government’s Interlocutory Appeal in Juliana Case

On December 26, in a 2-1 decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted defendants’ petition for permission to bring an interlocutory appeal in Juliana v. United States, the landmark constitutional climate lawsuit brought by young Americans. 

The following day (12/27), the youth plaintiffs filed a motion in the district court, requesting an immediate order clarifying that pre-trial and trial proceedings may resume, and, in the alternative, reconsider and modify its November 21 order and lift the stay in this case. The brief filed by the youth plaintiffs argues that, as a result of yesterday’s orders, there is no stay of litigation in place, and that Judge Aiken should resume pre-trial and trial proceedings over the factual and legal issues not covered by the government’s interlocutory appeal.

Philip Gregory, of Gregory Law Group and co-counsel for the youth plaintiffs, said:

I disagree with this decision. It is unfortunate that the Ninth Circuit majority failed to explain why an appeal makes sense now. As Judge Aiken observed, this case would be better served by further factual development at trial. The overwhelming evidence is that plaintiffs will suffer substantial harm from any further delay in resolving their claims. The more time that passes before a remedy is in place will result in irrevocable harm to plaintiffs and increased future litigation burdens. I wish the court would let the voices of these youth plaintiffs, as well as the climate science, be heard in the courtroom.

In sum, this means further pre-trial delays in the case, where the youth plaintiffs have fought the government’s delays for years – and now will continue to wait. 

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