Frustrated in its court failures to dictate climate policy above and beyond Congress, the Obama administration is moving to silence climate change “deniers” possibly by suing them.
In response to a Senate Judiciary Committee member’s concern over a widespread “climate denier apparatus” that’s gumming up the scientific “consensus,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said she has asked the FBI to evaluate whether this concern “meets the criteria for which we can take action.” In other words, the administration would silence the scoffers — many, very reputable scientists — by suing them.
And the free-speech rights of independent scientists who challenge the assumptions of man-made climate change? Conceivably the administration would liken deniers to the tobacco industry in a RICO case, writes Todd Young of the Southeastern Legal Foundation. In that case, an appeals court ruled the First Amendment does not protect deceptive statements when “Defendants knew of their falsity at the time and made the statement with the intent to deceive.”
Of course, this puts the burden on the Justice Department to show that years of scientific evidence contradicting the so-called scientific consensus is duplicitous.
“Believing in the power of reason as applied through public discussion, (the Founders) eschewed silence coerced by law — the argument of force in its worst form,” wrote Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis. Or put another way, hot air is not above rebuttal.
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