May 4, 2016

PLF a target in the Virgin Islands subpoena imbroglio

By James S. Burling Vice President for Litigation

We learned for the first time yesterday that Pacific Legal Foundation is one of the subjects of the Virgin Islands Attorney General’s “global warming” subpoena to Exxon/Mobil. This exposes the subpoena to be a politically motivated fishing expedition of the first order. We are lawyers defending the individual liberties and economic rights of ordinary Americans across the nation. We are not scientists and have never taken a position on the global warming debate. In fact, we have never taken a position on whether there is even a debate here. The only possible reasons why the V.I.A.G. could have targeted us is because he and his cronies want to 1) punish us for defending the liberties of Americans who are unreasonably faced with government overreach or 2) because he wants to stifle any inclination that we may have to say something about global warming or any other controversial or politically incorrect subject in the future.

The genesis of a lot of this fiasco comes to us from Sheldon Whitehouse. I wrote this blog about Senator Whitehouse’s initial call for a RICO investigation of climate skeptics last September. It is appalling that a United States Senator and various attorneys general tasked with upholding the Constitution are so actively working to destroy one of its core principles of free speech.

As a side note, Senator Whitehouse and I share the fact that we both argued once before the Supreme Court in  Palazzolo v. Rhode Island. That case dealt with Rhode Island’s attempt to destroy the property rights of Anthony Palazzolo. Anthony and I won. He lost. If Whitehouse and his allies attempt to chill our speech, they will lose again.

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