AUSTIN – Leading a 12-state coalition, Attorney General Ken Paxton filed an amicus brief in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, arguing that the Massachusetts and New York attorneys general are abusing their authority by punishing ExxonMobil Corporation for its climate change views.
Last year, a coalition of state attorneys general called the “AGs United for Clean Power” tried to suppress the free speech rights of those who disagree with them on climate change. Initially, the attorney general for the United States Virgin Islands hired an outside law firm on a contingency fee basis to subpoena ExxonMobil in a climate change probe. After Texas and Alabama intervened in that lawsuit to address constitutional concerns, the subpoena was withdrawn and the suit was dropped.
The Massachusetts and New York attorneys general also demanded that Exxon hand over documents concerning global warming or climate change for the last 40 years.
In the friend-of-the-court brief, Attorney General Paxton and his counterparts support Exxon’s complaint that the Massachusetts and New York attorneys general exceeded their constitutional authority and violated the company’s First Amendment rights by attempting to punish Exxon’s viewpoint on an issue of scientific debate. The Massachusetts and New York attorneys general want Exxon’s complaint dismissed.
“This is a constitutionally improper ploy by two state attorneys general to suppress the free speech of a company they disagree with,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Using law enforcement authority to silence speakers in a public policy debate undermines the trust invested in our offices and threatens the First Amendment.”
In addition to Texas, the other states who joined the amicus brief are Louisiana, South Carolina, Alabama, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Utah, Arkansas, Nevada, and Indiana.
To view a copy of the brief to support the filing of the amicus brief, click here: http://bit.ly/2tairbt
To view a copy of the interest of amici curiae, click here: http://bit.ly/2sSQR09
To view a copy of the order to file amici curiae in support of plaintiff, click here: http://bit.ly/2sSORoD
To view a copy of the amici curiae brief in opposition to defendant’s renewed motions to dismiss plaintiff’s first amended complaint, click here: http://bit.ly/2sSRnvi