As Earth Day approaches, it’s time to take a look at an insidious attack on the environment that’s been spreading in recent years: a coordinated corporate campaign to undo protections for consumers and the environment by contaminating the courts with fabricated constitutional rights claims. Today, Free Speech For People and Greenpeace are releasing a joint report that catalogs the history of this corporate campaign and explains the dangers it poses to the hard-won environmental protections that have been in place since the early 1970s.
Exxon’s attempts to shield itself from longstanding securities and consumer protection laws by invoking the right to free speech is one of the most high-profile and most outrageous examples, but it’s only one of many corporations using this strategy to re-write the Constitution for its own purposes. Relying on a playbook that was written by none other than Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell (while he was still on the payroll of tobacco giant Philip Morris), corporations are using fringe legal arguments not only to challenge common sense regulations to protect the environment and public health, but they are also using the threat of litigation to intimidate public officials and derail plans to fight back against corporate polluters.
To download the report and access tools to fight back click here.