Dozens of organizations, from the Sierra Club to the Center for International Environmental Law to the League of Women Voters and more, showed their support of the 21 plaintiffs suing the U.S. government over climate change in Juliana v. United States.
The groups filed eight friend-of-the court briefs Tuesday to oppose the Trump Administration’s mandamus petition with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
“It’s an amazing, heartwarming feeling to have the support of all these accomplished organizations and individuals and to know that they have our backs in this fight,” said Jacob Lebel of Douglas County, 20, who is a plaintiff in the case. “Right now, my home in Oregon is choking in smoke while the Southwest drowns in floodwaters. It makes me hopeful that communities of faith and global advocacy groups are standing united to defend youth’s right to safe climate and I look forward to moving rapidly to trial.”
The organizations included environmental, religious and women’s groups, legal scholars and legal nonprofits. The topics of the briefs range from “Demonstrating that U.S. international commitments international law and evolving jurisprudence in other countries support the fundamental right to a climate capable of sustaining human life,” to the “Proper role of courts as checks and balance on the political branches, how irreversible impacts justify urgency and standing for youth.”
The Trump Administration filed a mandamus petition June 9 asking the Ninth Circuit Court to intervene in the case due to the burden of collecting documents in the discovery process. The plaintiff’s attorneys answered back to the court Aug. 28, arguing the federal government had already admitted to taking “dangerous, and unacceptable economic, social and environmental risks,” involving climate change.
The Trump administration is asked to reply by Sept. 11.
The District Court of Oregon had previously announced the trial would start Feb. 5, 2018. The District Court submitted a letter Aug. 25 to the Ninth Circuit Court signed by federal Judge Ann Aiken and Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin. The letter stated, “we do not believe that the government will be irreversibly damaged by proceeding to trial.”