Trump Named as Defendant in Landmark Federal Climate Suit

By Yessenia Funes Feb 09, 2017

The 21 youth plaintiffs who are currently suing the federal government for denying their constitutional rights to life, liberty and property by ignoring and exacerbating climate change have updated their lawsuit. President Donald Trump is now the latest defendant in the case Juliana et al. v United States et al. as of a court filing today (February 9).

The plaintiffs—ranging from ages nine to 20 and from diverse backgrounds—launched their litigation in 2015. They were originally suing former President Barack Obama and his cabinet. 


The trial is scheduled to take place this fall. Parties are currently in the pre-trial discovery process where they are gathering evidence to build their cases. Their next status conference is scheduled for March 8.

The plaintiffs indicated that they are determined in opposition of a climate-denying president, according to a press release from Our Children’s Trust, an organization that supports youth who use the law to combat climate chage. Read some of their reactions below.


Kiran Ooommen | 20 | Eugene, Oregon: “I look forward to taking on the Trump administration, as I think our new president, of all people, needs to have his power checked.”

Jacob Lebel | 20 | Roseburg, Oregon: “Our case is a direct constitutional challenge to a Trump administration at war with the reality of climate change and bent on pushing a deadly fossil fuel agenda at the expense of its citizens’ safety and human rights.”

Aji Piper | 16 | Seattle, Washington: “I am hopeful that our case will reverse or prevent all damage our current president may inflict. I hope that our trial may shed light upon the issue of climate change and educate the American populace on the difference between real and ‘alternative’ facts.”

Alex Loznak | 20 | Roseburg, Oregon: “I watched in horror as President Trump fast-tracked the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines, despite their grave consequences for climate and indigenous rights. I also fear his pledge to roll back President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, ‘cancel’ the Paris Climate Agreement, and expand fossil fuel extraction on federal lands. These policies could spell disaster for the planet as it approaches critical tipping points such as the destabilization of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.”