Today, CEI sponsored a full-page advertisement in The New York Times highlighting abusive efforts by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker, and a coalition of other “AGs United for Clean Power” to silence the speech of more than 100 businesses, nonprofits, and private individuals who question the AGs’ positions on climate change. Published as an open letter, the ad features signatures from 43 organizations, legal experts, and individuals who value Americans’ First Amendment rights and believe they should be protected.
Full text below. View the ad as a full color PDF here.
ABUSE OF POWER
All Americans have the right to support causes they believe in.
The right to speak out is among the most fundamental principles of American democracy. It should never be taken away.
Yet, around the country, a group of state attorneys general have launched a misguided effort to silence the views and voices of those who disagree with them.
Recently, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker, and a coalition of other “AGs United for Clean Power” announced an investigation of more than 100 businesses, nonprofits, and private individuals who question their positions on climate change.
This abuse of power is unacceptable. It is unlawful. And it is un-American.
Regardless of one’s views on climate change, every American should reject the use of government power to harass or silence those who hold differing opinions. This intimidation campaign sets a dangerous precedent and threatens the rights of anyone who disagrees with the government’s position—whether it’s vaccines, GMOs, or any other politically charged issue. Law enforcement officials should never use their powers to silence participants in political debates.
We are standing up for every American’s First Amendment right to speak freely. We hope you will join us. This is a critical battle, and it will determine whether our society encourages spirited debate or tolerates only government-approved opinions.
President & CEO, Competitive Enterprise Institute
C. Boyden Gray
Former White House Counsel
Andrew C. McCarthy
Former Chief Assistant United States Attorney, Southern District of New York
Michael B. Mukasey
U.S. Attorney General, 2007-2009; U.S. District Judge, 1988-2006
Professor of Economics, University of Guelph
Ronald D. Rotunda
Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence, Chapman University
Richard S. Lindzen
Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Sciences, MIT
Emeritus Professor of Physics, Princeton University
President, The Heritage Foundation
James H. Amos, Jr.
President & CEO, National Center for Policy Analysis
John A. Baden
Chairman, Foundation for Research on Economics & the Environment
Lisa B. Nelson
CEO, American Legislative Exchange Council
Author & Energy Policy Analyst
Thomas J. Pyle
President, Institute for Energy Research
Steven J. Allen
Vice President & Chief Investigative Officer, Capital Research Center
President, National Center for Public Policy Research
Steven J. Milloy
President & CEO, Texas Public Policy Foundation
President, Rio Grande Foundation
Researcher & Author
William Perry Pendley
President, Mountain States Legal Foundation
President & CEO, FreedomWorks
President, American Council on Science and Health
Executive Director, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow
CEO, Freedom Foundation
Richard B. Belzer
Heather R. Higgins
President & CEO, Independent Women’s Voice
Joseph G. Lehman
President, Mackinac Center for Public Policy
Executive Director, Independent Women’s Forum
President, The Heartland Institute
John C. Eastman
Founding Director, The Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence
President & CEO, The Buckeye Institute
President & CEO, The Claremont Institute
Assistant Professor, South Texas College of Law
President, Tertium Quids
President, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow
President & CEO, State Policy Network
President, Science and Environmental Policy Project
President, Americans for Prosperity
Director of the Center for Energy & Environment, Competitive Enterprise Institute
President, Frontiers of Freedom
CEO, Illinois Policy Institute
Craig D. Idso
Chairman, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
Affiliations listed for identification purposes only.