Grandstanding AGs vs. free speech

Washington Examiner reports on the subpoena sent to CEI as part of the attorneys general intimidation campaign to silence the debate on climate change.

In explaining the First Amendment, teachers typically tell schoolchildren that in this country, people cannot be persecuted by power-hungry government officials for expressing unpopular points of view. With his new subpoena fired at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Walker is doing more than wasting taxpayers' time and money on a frivolous investigation. He is in fact putting the First Amendment to the test, as are the other attorneys general involved in his scheme, notably New York's Eric Schneiderman.

Walker's subpoena demands that CEI, which has long been active in fighting environmental extremism, provide all documents, drafts and communications related to Exxon-Mobil and the topic of climate change policy over 10 years beginning in 1997. The demand is part of a frivolous investigation of the oil company. The theory of, or rather the excuse for this investigation is that the company might have misled investors by failing to admit that the use of its main product, oil, could contribute to global warming, which in turn could make it harder for Exxon to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean.

The subpoena of CEI is designed to exact retribution against an organization active in policy discussions. If someone were trying to design a method for suppressing advocacy they disagreed with, it would look exactly like this subpoena.

Read the full article at Washington Examiner