PHOENIX — The University of Arizona has been ordered to surrender emails by two UA scientists that a group claims will help prove that theories about human-caused climate change are false and part of a conspiracy.
Pima County Superior Court Judge James Marner rejected arguments by the Board of Regents that disclosure of the documents would be “contrary to the best interests of the state.”
Marner said it may be true that some of the documents sought by Energy & Environment Legal Institute might be classified as unpublished research, manuscripts, preliminary analyses, drafts of scientific papers and plans for future research.
But the judge said the subject matter of the documents has become available to the general public. And that, Marner said, does not allow the university to withhold disclosure under a separate section of the law governing university records.
There was no immediate response from the university.
The ruling is a turnabout for Marner, who had previously ruled that some emails were properly withheld because they contained things like confidential information or attorney work product. He said at the time that the university did not act arbitrarily or capriciously in withholding other documents, including unpublished data, research, drafts and commentary.
But last year the state Court of Appeals told Marner to take another look.
Appellate Judge Joseph Howard, writing for the unanimous court, said it’s legally irrelevant what university officials thought was appropriate to disclose.
In other news, perhaps seeing the writing on the wall earlier in the summer (since his emails are sought), Dr. Jonathan Overpeck announced his retirement from UA and has left for the University of Michigan.