Leading First Amendment scholars sign onto Knight Institute letter addressing constitutionality of new rules
On June 17, 2022, the Knight Institute sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission on behalf of twelve First Amendment scholars, commenting on the agency’s proposed rules that would require public companies to provide certain climate-related information in registration statements and periodic reports. The letter explains that, contrary to other comments submitted to the SEC, the agency’s proposed rules do not appear to violate the First Amendment.
The proposed rules would require companies to disclose certain information about climate-related financial risks and metrics associated with securities that are sold to the public. The Knight Institute’s letter explains that disclosure requirements of this kind do not typically raise First Amendment concerns and have long been understood as integral to the regulation of securities. The letter further explains that, if the rules trigger First Amendment scrutiny at all, they should be evaluated under the deferential review standard applied to compelled disclosures of factual information in the commercial context. The letter argues that the proposed rules appear to easily satisfy this standard.
The comment period for the proposed rules closed on June 17, 2022.