The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act came into being in 1970. Better known simply as the RICO Act, it was established to provide “new remedies to deal with the unlawful activities of those engaged in organized crime.”

Surely there’s some clever legal eagle out there who can figure out a way to apply it to 17 state attorneys general who have chosen to molest the legal system and to collude with the federal government to advance the latter’s evisceration of the First Amendment in pursuit of its climate agenda.

The kingpin of this pack of Constitution-busters is Claude E. Walker, the AG for the Virgin Islands. He has issued subpoenas for communications between ExxonMobil and more than 100 American academics, scientists, think tanks and universities. He’s seeking “proof” that the energy giant misled the public — and thus engaged in fraud — by having the audacity to question the theology of government-funded, climate-change “research.”

Conservatives, free-marketeers and business groups are being intimidated by Mr. Walker’s demand for nearly 40 years of communications.

Wednesday last, Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, accused the AGs of a “misuse of power.” No, Senator, this is rank abuse of power. And should it go unchecked, free speech will become a dead letter and scientific inquiry will be rendered into a quaint notion.


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