The landmark lawsuit, Juliana v. US, was filed by 21 young people claiming that the government’s actions, and inaction, in the face of global warming violate their “fundamental constitutional rights to freedom from deprivation of life, liberty, and property.” 

Dubbed the climate “trial of the century,” the case began in 2015 and has overcome a multitude of hurdles despite relentless efforts by the Trump administration to halt its progress. The children are aging and the majority of them can now vote. 

A list of court orders and additional information can be found at Our Children’s Trust, the non-profit responsible for this and many other youth climate cases across the country. Julia Olson is their Chief Legal Counsel.

A youth led climate justice organization, Zero Hour, launched a drive in February 2019 to support this lawsuit. In eleven days 30,000 young people added their names to a Young People’s Brief in Support of the Juliana plaintiffs. This “friend of the court” brief was filed with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on March 1, 2019.

On January 17, 2020, a divided federal court, having heard the case in June 2019, concluded that the plaintiffs do not have standing. With one out of three judges dissenting, it is likely that Our Children’s Trust will go forward and appeal. A stunning summary by Joel Stronberg is here and a collection of videos about the case by Youth v. Gov here.

The timeline below marks all the major events from the first filing to the present.

Youth and attorneys involved in the Our Children's Trust federal lawsuit. (Photos copyright Robin Loznak)
    • Landmark Children’s Climate Lawsuit Hits New Roadblock

      Judge Ann Aiken issued an order certifying Juliana v. United States for interlocutory appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In staying the case pending a decision by the Ninth Circuit, Judge Aiken maintained…

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      Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to decide Whether Juliana vs. United States Goes to trial

    • Supreme Court Refuses to Halt Kids Climate Case

      The Supreme Court denied the federal government’s request to halt discovery and the trial in the youth climate lawsuit Juliana v. United States. The court’s rejection means the case will likely proceed to trial on…

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      Supreme Court rules in favor of Youth