The chief legal counsel for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce defended corporate activism as First Amendment-protected speech, days after a cadre of conservative U.S. senators threatened 51 law firms with antitrust investigations for helping to coordinate environmental, social and governance investment.

The comments came at the Federalist Society’s 2022 National Lawyers Convention on Thursday where moderator and Torridon Group partner Ted Ullyot asked a panel, titled “Navigating Business Challenges in Red and Blue States,” why companies face so much pressure to get involved in corporate activism.