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November 24, 2015

USA Today Editorial Raises ‘First Amendment Concerns’ About New York AG’s Exxon Probe

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s probe into Exxon Mobil’s past statements and research about climate change “raise serious First Amendment concerns,” writes the USA Today editorial board.

“Schneiderman’s push is based on an extraordinarily powerful New York law known as the Martin Act,” continues the editorial. “It only requires prosecutors to prove a factual error — not fraudulent intent. This is the type of law that should be used with great caution for critical public purposes.”

Noting the “irony in using a law designed to protect investors to go after” Exxon, the editorial concludes that “the most likely effect of a costly legal examination of Exxon’s past statements is a lower stock price, hurting current investors.”

Read the full editorial here.

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