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AGs to Defend the First Amendment on Climate Change Policy Debate

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September 12, 2016 | 417 views | Post a comment

AUSTIN -- Attorney General Ken Paxton filed an amicus brief last week in defense of the First Amendment. The brief explains that the Attorney General of Massachusetts exceeded her constitutional authority by attempting to shut down a viewpoint on an issue of scientific debate -- climate change.

At the “AGs United for Clean Power” press conference, a coalition of liberal state attorneys general announced they were going to use their official authority to go after one side of the policy debate on climate change. This overt use of governmental power to shut down particular viewpoints is a blatant violation of the Constitution. In this case, the Massachusetts Attorney General issued a Civil Investigative Demand against Exxon Mobil Corporation for its “marketing and sale of fossil fuel-derived products and securities,” demanding over 40 years of internal company documents. Exxon is seeking to block the Civil Investigative Demand from being enforced.

Attorney General Paxton and ten other state attorneys general are asking the court to grant Exxon’s motion for a preliminary injunction against the subpoena.

“The Constitution was written to protect citizens from government witch-hunts that are nothing more than an attempt to suppress speech on an issue of public importance, just because a government official happens to disagree with that particular viewpoint,” Attorney General Paxton said when filing the brief.

In addition to Texas, the other states that joined the amicus brief are Louisiana, South Carolina, Alabama, Michigan, Arizona, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Utah, and Nevada.
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