Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker filed his opposition last week to CEI’s motions for attorney fees and sanctions. As you may know if you’ve been following this subpoena saga, on April 7 Walker served CEI with a massive document request, covering a decade’s worth of all our work on climate change and energy policy, including confidential information on our donors. This was a violation of both our First Amendment rights and those of our supporters—a view shared by many commenters regardless of their political leanings, and a position forcefully presented by our outside counsel, Andrew Grossman and David Rivkin of Baker Hostetler. Forty-three days after serving the subpoena, Walker withdrew his DC subpoena, though he graciously made it clear that he might reinstate it at any time and that the underlying Virgin Islands subpoena would remain in place. CEI has filed its sanctions and attorney fee motions because, when it comes to constitutional outrages like this, a prosecutor’s Emily Litella “never mind” ploy just doesn’t suffice, especially when that official continues to threaten further abuses.
So here’s the money line from Walker’s latest filing: “…CEI has wasted enough of VIDOJ’s and the court’s limited time and resources.”
Walker, of course, has only himself to blame; when you abuse your authority to harass those whose views you dislike, there are going to be consequences. And when courts spend their time examining and sanctioning abuses like Walker’s, abuses which ultimately threaten us all, that is time well spent.