Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Dose of Own Medicine

From time to time, we have noted instances in which various groups have used public records requests to sift through the emails of faculty whose opinions they don't like. (And we again remind readers that they should not regard emails and other documents as private.) But it was nice to see a case in which one group got a dose of its own medicine - although it tries to differentiate its email and document fishing from a demand for its documents:

...Last week, an intimidation campaign led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and former Vice President Al Gore reached CEI’s [CEI = Competitive Enterprise Institute] doors. We received a subpoena from U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker demanding CEI, a nonprofit and private organization, turn over a massive amount of documents on climate change policy work from 1997-2007, nearly 20 years ago. Needless to say, we will fight the subpoena...  Some of our critics view the subpoena as nothing more than a taste of CEI’s own medicine. After all, they argue, hasn’t CEI harassed scientists and professors for private emails and data? Unequivocally, the answer is NO. Like countless journalists, policy groups, and private citizens, CEI relies on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and other public records laws to encourage government accountability and transparency...

Full piece at

Somehow,  sympathy is eluding us.

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