In her argument, Olson said she knows of no other instance where people suffering
personal injury at the hands of their government are told to go to
the polls when a constitutional right is being violated
The 21 young plaintiffs in Juliana v. United States will mark their six-year anniversary just days from now. They first petitioned the federal District Court for the District of Oregon on August 12, 2015.
Over the past six years, the Juliana plaintiffs have grown in age, understanding, and stature. The lead plaintiff, Kelsey Juliana, is now 25 years old; Levi Draheim, the youngest, is 14.
Individually and as a group, they’ve now had first-hand experience—perhaps to their chagrin—of the ways of Washington and the federal court system. For the past six years, the case has moved from the trial court to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, onto the US Supreme Court, and back again to the trial court.
The latest effort of the plaintiffs’ attorneys is to get the case back on active status. The recent oral argument to amend their pleadings serves as the jumping-on point of this article. Stay with me a moment as I try to explain Juliana’s latest moves.
The question that keeps coming back to the court like a bad check is whether the plaintiffs have the right to stand before a judge to plead their case. Six years on, and the question of standing has yet to be definitively answered.
We’re not a cheap date; the House is going to do what we have to do.
Jim McGovern (D-MA)
While the Senate fiddles over infrastructure and budget reconciliation legislation, the House burns. Seethes is perhaps a better word. I’ll explain why in a moment. First, I’ll set the stage for that discussion.
The Senate is currently in the process of trying to hammer out two critical climate-related pieces of legislation. The first is all about jobs and updating and repairing roads, bridges, and other essential services, including getting quality internet services to all Americans.
The second is a totally partisan piece of legislation termed budget reconciliation and carries a price tag of $3.5 trillion. Although the focus of this second article in an occasional series on US climate policy is reconciliation, it is impossible to provide a picture of what’s going on without discussing the interplay between the two bills.
URGENCY is the message of today and every day until the US finally has the policies in place
and acted upon that will lead it to a sustainable environment and economy.
The US is fifteen months away from the 2022 midterm elections. If history repeats itself, as it often does, the Democrats will lose their tenuous hold of majority status in both the Senate and House of Representatives.
Let’s do the math. The Democrats will go into the 2022 midterm elections with a four-seat maj-ority in the House and a sometimes one-vote majority in the Senate.
Since World War II, a president’s party has lost an average of 26 seats in the House and four in the Senate in midterm elections. Should Republicans take control of either or both chambers of Congress, it would prove a catastrophic loss of opportunity for putting the nation irrevocably on the path to a decarbonized economy.
Joel B. Stronberg
Joel Stronberg, MA, JD., of The JBS Group is a veteran clean energy policy analyst with over 30 years’ experience, based in Washington, DC.