McGraw-Hill asserts its First Amendment rights


We’re not talking about its TV stations, or even BusinessWeek magazine, but rather the Standard & Poor’s rating agency. The Attorney General of Connecticut has sued S&P, charging that it and two other bond rating agencies cost taxpayers millions by giving artificially low ratings to municipal bonds. “The lawsuit filed in Connecticut this morning [Wednesday] is simply a case of a state attempting to use litigation to dictate what bond rating it receives. The claims asserted by the Attorney General violate First Amendment rights – which courts around the country have repeatedly ruled apply to rating agencies and their opinions – and would result in an erosion of analytical independence and undermine investor confidence in the market by allowing ratings to be determined by governmental mandate or the threat of litigation,” said a statement by McGraw-Hill.