Well this sucks!

I’ve criticized California Attorney General Kamala Harris several times in the past (see herehere, and here). The prospect of her succeeding Barbara Boxer in the US Senate is frightening. Even while she remains in her present office, however, she continues to do serious harm. For example, she is currently leading a group of state attorneys general who want to bring criminal charges against Exxon Mobil and other companies for things they have said about climate change (see here). The fact that she and other state officials would attempt to criminalize speech in this way is bad enough, but what makes it worse is that many members of Congress are encouraging them. Last week 19 of them (all Democrats) signed a letter to Ms. Harris saying:

The First Amendment protects freedom of speech, but it does not protect companies from defrauding the American people….

Your investigation as to whether ExxonMobil lied about the truth of climate change … does not constitute an effort to silence speech or scientific research….

We support your investigation…. The urgent danger of climate change is real, and ExxonMobil likely delayed climate action by a generation and imperiled all of humanity in the process…. The American people have the right to know and ExxonMobil should be held accountable…. It is time … to find solutions to the climate change threats facing our planet.

Jon Guze / Senior Fellow, Legal Studies

Jon Guze is the Director of Legal Studies at the John Locke Foundation. Before joining the John Locke Foundation, Jon practiced law in Durham, North Carolina for over twent...