by Matthew Whitaker
Morning Consult

In an effort to undermine the First Amendment by trying to criminalize political disagreement, chief legal officials from across the country are currently investigating individuals, groups, and businesses that challenge their views on climate change. But this campaign has hit a bit of a headwind recently as some of the targets of the probe are fighting back. In doing so, they have exposed an undercurrent of hypocrisy in this effort to intimidate those with whom they disagree.

Earlier this year, a group of 17 attorneys general — working in direct communication with environmental organizations — launched a campaign to silence many public policy organizations and even individuals for their work challenging liberal views on climate change, as well as private companies like Exxon Mobil. Let’s put aside the fact this probe was both unconstitutional and unethical. More disturbing is how these same attorneys general — the ones who issued subpoenas, demanded documents, and bullied Exxon, over 100 universities, researchers and public policy organizations — are actively blocking ethics watchdog organizations like mine from further exposing their behavior.

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