Today, a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted, in part, the Trump administration’s motion for a temporary stay of District Court trial proceedings in Juliana v. United States.
The Ninth Circuit panel only placed a stay on the trial, but not discovery and trial preparations. The stay will be in place until the Ninth Circuit decides the federal defendants’ petition for writ of mandamus, which was filed on Monday.
This is the federal government’s TWELFTH “stay” request in the federal courts. This is the FOURTH time that the Trump administration has gone to the Ninth Circuit in this case before a final judgment is entered by the trial court, when the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals would ordinarily have jurisdiction to hear the case. They have twice petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for early review.
The Ninth Circuit panel also ordered an expedited briefing schedule. The youth plaintiffs, and the District Court if it wishes, must file a response to the government’s petition within 15 days, and the government can respond five days later. The panel also ordered the parties to file a joint report on the status of discovery and any relevant pretrial matters in 15 days. Read the full order from the Ninth Circuit here.
Late this afternoon, U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken conducted a status conference in Juliana v. U.S. and informed the parties that she would promptly set a trial date once the Ninth Circuit lifts the temporary stay it placed on trial. She also told the parties that she would schedule the pre-trial conference as soon as the trial date is scheduled and she expected the parties to continue getting their work done and be ready for trial when the Ninth Circuit rules.
Given the urgency of climate change, we hope the Ninth Circuit will recognize the importance of a prompt trial date and lift the temporary stay quickly. Our federal government is wielding its power to bend the bounds of civil procedure. Our team is doing everything in our power to respond quickly and effectively to these extraordinary tactics.
As one of our amazing law clerks, Precious Makuyana, said today: “We are in the world of ‘uncivil procedure.’”