News | Amicus Briefs

November Update: New CSLDF brief defending climate research & upcoming events

CSLDF Submits Brief to Protect University Researchers Targeted by Lawsuit

Last Friday, CSLDF submitted an amicus or “friend of the court” brief in the lawsuit Government Accountability & Oversight, P.C. (GAO) v. Regents of the University of California. This case has important implications for scientists and other academics who work on climate change issues.

GAO, a special interest group with ties to the coal industry, targeted two professors at UCLA Law’s Emmett Institute on Climate Change, because of their work on legal theories for climate litigations. GAO filed a lawsuit in an attempt to review the professors’ correspondence and research work; members of this group have called climate change a “hoax” and have a history of using the legal system to stymie climate progress and discourage important climate research.

We argue in our amicus brief that this lawsuit is part of a broad and damaging trend, driven by those who oppose regulation and research into reducing greenhouse gases. Stories of scientists such as Dr. Michael Mann and Drs. Malcolm Hughes and Jonathan Overpeck clearly illustrate the misuse of open records laws against researchers.

We hope that the court will deny GAO’s petition and institute protections to prevent other attempts to weaponize open records laws against important climate research.

Find out more about our amicus brief in our blog here.

Upcoming AGU Events at Fall 2021 Meeting

We’re participating in the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, the world’s largest gathering of Earth and space scientists. Please join us for the following online events
between December 13–17, 2021:

  • How Is Science Doing in Washington? The State of U.S. Science Policy One Year Into the Biden Administration and Where We Go From Here, Town Hall (link can be found here), Monday 13 Dec from 7:15-8:15pm CST, Convention Center – Room 388-390
  • Climate Science in the Courtroom: The Risks and Rewards of Being an Expert Witness, Hybrid event (link can be found here), Tuesday 14 Dec from 4:00-5:00pm CST, Great Hall – Stage 1, First Floor
  • Safe Scientific Advocacy and the First Amendment, Hybrid Event (link can be found here), Thursday 16 Dec from 9:30am-10:30am CST, Great Hall – Stage 1, First Floor
  • Climate Litigation-Relevant Research: Defining a Growing Field, Town Hall (link can be found here), Thursday 16 Dec from 7:15-8:15pm CST, Convention Center – Room 338-339
  • One on One with an Attorney, Mon 13 Dec -Thu 17 Dec 8am-3pm CST, Room 237, Second Floor, or virtually (read more on the AGU website here, or register for a free consultation here),

Read more about each of these events on our blog here. Visit the AGU events page here.

GIVING TUESDAY (November 30) is just 1 week away!

For 10 years, CSLDF has provided pro bono legal assistance to over 200 scientists being threatened or silenced for doing their jobs. We hope you’ll join us for Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving! Please consider supporting our vital work of protecting the scientific community by making an online gift.

We appreciate the generosity and dedication of our donors. Your support will help us to continue fighting for scientists and defending scientific progress in this pivotal moment.

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