The Climate Change Inquisition: An Abuse of Power that Offends the First Amendment and Threatens Informed Debate

A coalition of state attorneys general, “AGs United for Clean Power,” has announced they are investigating any company that challenges the unproven scientific theory of man-induced, catastrophic climate change. The state AGs are investigating those whom they consider to be promoting heresy—First Amendment rights be damned. Rather than pursuing their agenda through proper democratic procedure, these attorneys general and their allies are attempting to quash an important public policy debate in bad faith, and implement their own agenda through an avalanche of litigation and judicial fiat.

The First Amendment protects not just corporations, but numerous other organizations and individuals from being forced to disclose their internal communications, internal work product, research, writings, and other communications on a public policy issue as controversial as climate change. Subpoenas intended to retaliate against, and chill the speech of those advocating a point of view with which these state AGs disagree, are a misuse of prosecutorial resources that offends the First Amendment.

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