Prince William climate case judge already anticipating the appeal
By Tom Jackman Washington Post
The e-mails of climate researcher Michael E. Mann are at the heart of a Freedom of Information Act case that will almost certainly wind up in the Virginia Supreme Court. (Tom Jackman – The Washington Post) If you’re into predicting the outcome of a legal case based on the comments made by the judge, retired Arlington Circuit Court Judge Paul Sheridan’s questions to the lawyers in the climate change/Freedom of Information case Monday were pretty interesting.
When the lawyer for renowned climate scientist Michael Mann said that the FOIA request for his e-mails by Rep. Robert Marshall (R-Prince William) and the American Tradition Institute was calculated to annoy and harass Mann, Sheridan interjected: “How does that affect their legal right to FOIA production? Do we have a ‘purity of heart test’ before we apply the FOIA acts?”
Later, when Mann’s lawyer said that the process of peer review for research was “the bedrock of science,” Sheridan responded, “But is it the bedrock of open government? …Why does the general public have to trust scientists? Citizens wonder about open government. Why don’t we have access to the process? … FOIA is saying citizens have a right to see what government is doing.”
But at the end of four hours of argument, the judge did not grant ATI’s immediate request for 12,000 withheld e-mails written while Mann was a professor at U.Va., and did not rule that the school had waived its right to withhold the e-mails by providing them to Mann last fall. Instead, Sheridan acknowledged that however he rules, the case is headed to the Virginia Supreme Court to resolve several key FOIA issues the case raises:
Read more here:
Dr. David Schnare writes in with this:
Chris Horner and I will do a write up on the hearing after we get the transcript and can use actual quotes. In the mean time, you may wish to point interested readers to the Washington Post article. It gives some useful insights.
There were some block buster things that came out of the hearing, as you’ll see when we get our write up done. For example, the court forced UVA to admit on the record that the climate change debate is by no means settled. Just one example.