New York Times Ad Attacks AGs’ Abuse of Power, Defends Free Speech

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.

Kent Lassman
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

Ross McKitrick
Professor of Economics, University of Guelph

Ronald D. Rotunda
Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence, Chapman University

Richard S. Lindzen
Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Sciences, MIT

William Happer
Emeritus Professor of Physics, Princeton University

Jim DeMint
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

Paul Driessen
Author & Energy Policy Analyst

Thomas J. Pyle
President, Institute for Energy Research

Steven J. Allen
Vice President & Chief Investigative Officer, Capital Research Center

David Ridenour
President, National Center for Public Policy Research

Steven J. Milloy
Publisher, JunkScience.com

Brooke Rollins
President & CEO, Texas Public Policy Foundation

Paul Gessing
President, Rio Grande Foundation

Ron Arnold
Researcher & Author

William Perry Pendley
President, Mountain States Legal Foundation

Adam Brandon
President & CEO, FreedomWorks

Hank Campbell
President, American Council on Science and Health

Craig Rucker
Executive Director, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow

Tom McCabe
CEO, Freedom Foundation

Richard B. Belzer
Economist

Heather R. Higgins
President & CEO, Independent Women’s Voice

Joseph G. Lehman
President, Mackinac Center for Public Policy

Sabrina Schaeffer
Executive Director, Independent Women’s Forum

Joseph Bast
President, The Heartland Institute

John C. Eastman
Founding Director, The Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence

Robert Alt
President & CEO, The Buckeye Institute

Michael Pack
President & CEO, The Claremont Institute

Josh Blackman
Assistant Professor, South Texas College of Law

Lynn Taylor
President, Tertium Quids

David Rothbard
President, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow

Tracie Sharp
President & CEO, State Policy Network

Kenneth Haapala
President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Tim Phillips
President, Americans for Prosperity

Myron Ebell
Director of the Center for Energy & Environment, Competitive Enterprise Institute

George Landrith
President, Frontiers of Freedom

John Tillman
CEO, Illinois Policy Institute

Craig D. Idso
Chairman, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change

Affiliations listed for identification purposes only.

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