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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The A/G vs Big Oil

For John, BLUFThe most important non-religious question is "Who watches the watcher?".  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is about the investigation of Exxon-Mobil regarding climate change.  The article is in The Library of Law & Liberty and is by Professor Philip Hamburger.

Here is the second paragraph

First came a mid-September order from Judge Ed Kinkeade, of the U.S. District Court for Northern Texas. Exxon had received a subpoena requiring massive disclosure—a subpoena (or “Civil Investigative Demand”) signed not by a judge but merely by the Attorney General of Massachusetts, Maura Healey—and the company responded by suing to enjoin its enforcement.  Ordinarily (under the Younger abstention doctrine) a federal court would hesitate to intervene in a state proceeding.  But there is a bad-faith exception to Younger abstention, and Judge Kinkeade held that he needed to conduct “jurisdictional discovery” to determine whether Healey had acted in bad faith—the goal being to determine whether the court could enjoin her from proceeding with her investigation.
That would be our Attorney General up here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  The one we elected to that office.

So where are we going here?  The bad fork in the road is if governmental agencies are bludgeoning private enterprises for the purpose of imposing their private views on such enterprises.  The really bad fork in the road is if commercial enterprises are subverting sound scientific investigations for the purpose of making profits.  Of course there is also the possibility that science has become religion over the issue of climate change (which, when I was young was global cooling, and then became global warming).

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  "Philip Hamburger is the Maurice and Hilda Friedman Professor of Law at Columbia Law School.  He is a scholar of constitutional law and its history, and his publications include Separation of Church and State (Harvard 2002), Law and Judicial Duty (Harvard 2008), Is Administrative Law Unlawful? (Chicago 2014), and numerous articles."
  Of course, if global warming is what is leading to fewer hurricanes, then maybe it is a good thing.

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