AGs, trial lawyers unite to abuse power
The West Virginia Record reports on the subpoena CEI recieved from Attorney General Claude Walker which was an attack on the organization's First Ammendment rights.
Claude Walker of the U.S. Virgin Islands, one of the “AGs United,” has hired the firm to unleash subpoenas on ExxonMobil and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, seeking decades’ worth of climate change research and communications with scores of third-party think tanks, foundations, universities and prominent scientists, among others, while alleging possible violations of the Virgin Islands’ version of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
But ExxonMobil and CEI are fighting back, arguing that AG Walker’s delegation of prosecutorial power to profit-seeking private-sector lawyers and burdensome subpoena demands violate their constitutional rights to free speech, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures, and due process of law. And the attorneys general of Alabama and Texas, decidedly unaffiliated with the Schneiderman-Walker group, are now seeking to intervene in the case on ExxonMobil’s behalf, arguing that Cohen Milstein’s "contingency fee arrangements [with Walker] cut against the duty of impartiality by giving the attorney that represents the government a financial stake in the outcome."
How the courts will ultimately decide these issues is unknown. But with what is well known about the inherently corrupting pay-to-play relationships between certain state attorneys general and the plaintiffs’ lawyers they help make rich and rely on for campaign support, it’s easy to view their recent efforts to crush climate change dissent for political and financial gain as both a disgraceful assault on the Constitution and an unforgivable insult to every American who has ever fought and died to preserve the freedoms enshrined within it.
Read the full article at the West Virginia Record.