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Press Release

Attorney General Taylor Joins 17-State Coalition To Ensure Separation of Powers in Juliana v. United States

June 9, 2021

(Anchorage, AK) – Attorney General Treg Taylor has joined a 17-state coalition of attorneys general to seek to ensure separation of powers and prevent this lawsuit from being improperly before a court.

The attorneys general have moved to intervene in Juliana v. United States, a lawsuit that seeks to enact a sweeping climate change agenda through federal courts. Both the Obama and Trump administrations fought to have the case dismissed, arguing that the U.S. Constitution gives the judicial branch no such policy-making power, which resides exclusively in the legislative and executive branches. The Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit agreed with the federal government’s position, and, in early 2020, ordered the district court to dismiss the case. The district court failed to do so, however, and now the Biden administration is preparing to have settlement talks with the plaintiffs. Notably, when presented with a similar lawsuit in Kanuk v. State of Alaska in 2014, the Alaska Supreme Court reached the same conclusion as the Ninth Circuit here: it is inappropriate and unlawful for courts to hear this type of case.

"Both the Ninth Circuit and the Alaska Supreme Court have already decided that this type of lawsuit is outside of any court’s jurisdiction,” said Attorney General Taylor. “With the change in federal administration and its recent litigation positions, there is a significant chance the current federal defendant will not adequately represent Alaska’s interest in bringing this case to its already-decided close."

Alaska, joined Alabama and Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia, in filing the motion to intervene on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Oregon.

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Department Media Contact: Assistant Attorney General Grace Lee.