The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) today filed its reply brief in its push for sanctions over U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude E. Walker’s climate change subpoena. CEI is arguing that the subpoena is a flagrant violation of the organization’s First Amendment rights, and is invoking the District of Columbia’s Anti-SLAPP law in moving for attorney fees. AG Walker contends that because he withdrew his DC subpoena, CEI’s motions are moot. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Monday, June 20, 2016.
CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman said:
“The fact that AG Walker walked away from his DC subpoena case against CEI only strengthens our case. His subpoena was groundless from the outset, and he has no basis for violating our First Amendment rights as well as those of our supporters. Moreover, the AG’s threat to enforce the subpoena shows that he’s still avoiding responsibility for his outrageous attempt to shut down the climate change policy debate. A court award of attorney fees and sanctions may be the only thing that will make this AG understand the outrageous nature of his conduct.”
On April 7, 2016, AG Walker subpoenaed CEI, demanding a decade of the organization’s work on climate change policy. This is the latest effort in an intimidation campaign by a coalition of state AGs to criminalize speech and research on the climate debate.
The subpoena requests a decade’s worth of communications, emails, statements, drafts, and other documents regarding CEI’s work on climate change and energy policy, including private donor information dating from January 1, 1997 to January 1, 2007.
CEI is represented in this matter by attorneys Andrew M. Grossman and David B. Rivkin, Jr., who recently founded the Free Speech in Science Project to defend First Amendment rights against government abuses.
See more from CEI regarding this subpoena, including the brief filed today, here.