This report is the first in-depth analysis of the existing protections for scientific records, and their applications, in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

It explains each state’s treatment of scientific records and assigns the state a letter grade from A to F accordingly. The report includes statutes, cases, decisions, and other pertinent legal information and examples of how groups have tried to use open records laws to antagonize scientists.

The report is intended to help scientists and attorneys understand the best way to manage and respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, and encourage policymakers to consider the special issues of scientific transparency and enact policies that protect these important materials.

Read the introduction.
View the 50 state report card and at-a-glance.
Download the full report.

This guide is intended to help researchers safely engage in advocacy and protests, and understand whether their activities are constitutionally protected.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects “the freedom of speech,” as well as “the right of the people peaceably to assemble,” also known as the right to demonstrate. Different limitations to your rights may apply depending on whether you work for the government or a private institution.

Authored by CSLDF attorneys, with assistance from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the brochure is available as a free download to print and share.

Get the brochure.

This pamphlet concerns U.S. laws only and does not constitute specific legal advice. If you have legal questions regarding a particular circumstance, please call your lawyer or contact us directly by emailing info@csldf.org or using our web form.

Thanks to the ACLU for guidance in creating this pamphlet and for allowing us to adopt parts of their published materials.

You may be inspired to send an open letter or create a public petition because of efforts to marginalize or suppress science. While the possibility of these activities resulting in legal action against you is small, there are things you can do to avoid putting yourself at risk when you advocate for science.

Get the guide.

This information contained in this guide concerns U.S. laws only and does not constitute specific legal advice. If you have legal questions regarding a particular circumstance, please call your lawyer or contact us directly by emailing info@csldf.org or using our web form.

Climate scientists have been under attack for years. And as the scientific evidence for climate change has gotten stronger, the attacks have only gotten more aggressive.

In the new “post-truth” political environment, scientists must – sadly – be prepared for politically-motivated attacks. The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund has produced this pocket guide to educate scientists on the legal risks they may face and to help scientists prepare and protect themselves.

Get the Pocket Guide.

This guide concerns only U.S. laws, and should not be taken as individual legal advice. If you are facing any of the situations described in this guide, or one not covered here, email lawyer@csldf.org or contact us via web form to receive a free consultation with an attorney who can discuss the specific laws and options that pertain to your case.

March for ScienceThe Climate Science Legal Defense Fund pamphlet, “March for Science: Know Your Rights,” was produced to help you understand whether your activities surrounding the April 22, 2017 March for Science — or any other demonstration — are constitutionally protected.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects “the freedom of speech,” as well as “the right of the people peaceably to assemble,” also known as the right to demonstrate. Different limitations to your rights may apply depending on whether you work for the government or a private institution. If you are a federally funded scientist or a government employee, these constitutional rights may be limited in certain ways and open records laws may apply to you.

Authored by CSLDF attorneys, with assistance from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the pamphlet is available as a free download to print and share.

Get the brochure.

This pamphlet concerns U.S. laws only and does not constitute specific legal advice. If you have legal questions regarding a particular circumstance, please call your lawyer or contact us directly by emailing info@csldf.org or using our web form.

Thanks to the ACLU for guidance in creating this pamphlet and for allowing us to adopt parts of their publications.

Back to Top