Alex Loznak of Kellogg, front row, second from left, stands with plaintiffs, attorneys, and staff from the nonprofit Our Children’s Trust legal team after a case management hearing earlier this year in the Juliana v United States climate change lawsuit at the federal courthouse in Eugene.

The Department of Justice on Thursday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay the climate trial brought by 21 young plaintiffs.

The federal government filed a second writ of mandamus petition and application for stay with the Supreme Court, claiming harm from the costs of litigation.

The DOJ described the “impending harm” to the defendants as: “Absent relief from this Court, the government imminently will be forced to participate in a 50-day trial that would violate bedrock requirements for agency decision-making and judicial review imposed by the APA and the separation of powers.”

The 21 plaintiffs, including 21-year-old Alex Loznak, a Roseburg High graduate, have been working for three years to bring their claims to trial, and have prevailed in three previous motions in the district court, two motions in the Ninth Circuit, and one in the Supreme Court, all seeking to dismiss their case.

In the last 60 days, the parties have taken almost 50 depositions, have finalized their exhibit and witness lists, and filed their pre-trial briefs.

Plaintiffs’ counsel said their 20 experts, all working pro bono, have already booked their travel to be in Eugene, Oregon for trial later this month.

On July 30, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the federal government’s first petition and application for stay and found that its “request for relief is premature,” giving the case the green light to go to trial.

On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken dismissed President Donald Trump as a defendant in the lawsuit, but denied a request to hold proceedings pending a U.S. Supreme Court appeal.

Last Friday, the Department of Justice filed a third writ of mandamus petition and application for stay with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Ninth Circuit has not yet issued a decision on those filings.

The trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 29 in federal court in Eugene.

Editor’s Note: Alex Loznak, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, is the son of Senior Reporter Carisa Cegavske.

Reporter Dan Bain can be reached at 541-957-4221 or e-mail at dbain@nrtoday.com.

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Dan Bain is the health reporter for The News-Review. He previously worked at KPIC and 541 Radio.

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