DAILY SIGNAL — Last week, a line was crossed in the ongoing campaign of liberals to criminalize freedom of expression. The attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands subpoenaed a decade of materials and work by a private advocacy group that had dared to question the orthodoxy of climate change.
The group is the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the attorney general is Claude E. Walker, who had recently signed on to a campaign of over a dozen attorneys general to ferret out so-called climate change “deniers.” It is possible that CEI was being targeted by Walker precisely because one of its attorneys, Hans Bader, had criticized New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who was leading the campaign.
This is all part of growing chorus of officials willing to use their powers to condemn climate change skeptics. A few weeks ago, for example, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch had asked the FBI to look into the matter of whether climate change-denying scientists could be accused of fraud for not toeing the line.
There is no other way to characterize these moves. They are blatant attempts to bend the law—in Schneiderman’s case, by using consumer protection and securities laws—to shut down free and open research. It is but another example of the new illiberal attempt by progressive liberals to use the power of the law to intimidate and coerce those with whom they disagree.