Supreme Court Asked To Hear Case Involving Leaked ‘Climategate’ Emails

From The Daily Caller

Michael Bastasch | Energy Editor

A D.C.-based libertarian think tank petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on a years-long defamation case involving leaked emails from climate scientists that seriously undermined the credibility of alarming global warming predictions.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) wants to overturn a lower court decision allowing Penn State University climate scientist Michael Mann’s defamation suit to move forward over free speech concerns.

“The D.C. Court of Appeals’ decision in CEI v. Michael Mann not only threatens the exercise of free speech, it also threatens scientific dissent and the possibility of robust political debate on matters of major importance,” CEI general counsel Sam Kazman said in a statement.

CEI filed its petition Thursday. National Review is also petitioning the high court, CEI said. (RELATED: Meteorologist Fact-Checks Ocasio-Cortez On Climate Change)

The D.C. appeals court broke with precedent by ruling that free speech protections did not apply to “speech opining on public controversies like the debate over climate science,” CEI argues in its petition.

New York Attorney General Letitia James speaks to the media following oral arguments regarding the Census citizenship case, outside the U.S. Supreme Courthouse in Washington

New York Attorney General Letitia James speaks to the media following oral arguments regarding the Census citizenship case. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton.

Mann filed suit against CEI, CEI adjunct fellow Rand Samburg, conservative columnist Mark Steyn and National Review in 2012.

“It is one thing to engage in discussion about debatable topics,” Mann’s attorneys wrote in his 2012 complaint. “It is quite another to attempt to discredit consistently validated scientific research through the professional and personal defamation of a Nobel prize recipient.”

Mann’s initial complaint also falsely claimed he and his colleagues had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Mann was, in fact, not awarded the Nobel for his climate science work.

CEI and National Review published comments comparing Penn State’s investigations into Mann’s infamous “hockey stick” graph to the just-concluded investigation into Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach convicted of sexually abusing young boys.

CEI admitted comparing Mann to Sandusky was “inappropriate,” but the think tank did not retract its criticisms of Mann’s underlying research and allegations of wrongdoing based on leaked “Climategate” emails. The controversy stemmed from the release of hacked emails taken from University of East Anglia servers.

Many global warming skeptics said the emails showed malfeasance on the part of scientists involved in United Nations climate assessments.

The Climategate emails “revealed that Mann’s famous ‘hockey stick’ diagram employed a ‘trick’ ‘to hide the decline’ in global temperatures” and “that Mann and his allies sought to block inquiry into their research, data, and statistical methods,” CEI wrote in its petition.

Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court await the arrival of the casket of former U.S. President Bush in Capitol Rotunda in Washington

Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., December 3, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Pool.

The D.C. Superior Court denied defendants’ motion to dismiss, so they filed an appeal with the D.C. Court of Appeals in 2014. The appeals court ruled against CEI and co-defendants in 2016, but dismissed several counts brought by Mann.

A number of organizations and scientists filed amicus briefs in support of CEI’s appeals court case, including the American Civil Liberties Union, The Washington Post and climate scientist Judith Curry.

“We hope the Supreme Court will hear this case and reaffirm the fundamental First Amendment protection of free speech,” Kazman said.

Mann did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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65 thoughts on “Supreme Court Asked To Hear Case Involving Leaked ‘Climategate’ Emails

  1. The largest problem with this case is that it is ongoing for seven years. I wonder who is funding Mann’s attorneys, but allowing that much delay is the fault of the DC courts.

    • Remember that the filibuster was nuked by Senate Democrats in 2013, after winning a couple of disastrous Senate races, specifically to tip the balance of the D.C. Circuit. It totally came back to bite their rear end.

    • Mark Steyn said yesterday on the radio that two DC judges on the case had retired as it drags on.

    • It’s called Lawfare, and it has become a martial art in this country, especially in and around the District of Columbia.

    • First line after the first photo, Rand Simberg’s name is spelled incorrectly.

  2. Granted the case has sat in the DC court of appeals awaiting a vote on whether to hear the case en banc with no apparent reason for the delay in voting on the en banc hearing. The case was wrongly decided at the appeals court stage,

    That being said, there is virtually no way the USSC will not grant cert at this stage.

    It is Too premature,
    There is no circuit split
    The case deals with DC law with the SLAPP statute. (equivelant of state law)
    The case is not in federal court, so it basically has to get final judgment in the highest state court (in this case, the highest DC court)
    Even though the case was decided contrary to established SC precedent (or most of us believe it was decided against established SC precedent, ) The SC rarely takes a case that was wrongly decided except when there is circuit split or in an area of the law that has been established.

    Really all the petition does is let the DC court of appeals know that they have been slow to respond to the motion for the en banc hearing

  3. “The D.C. appeals court broke with precedent by ruling that free speech protections did not apply to “speech opining on public controversies like the debate over climate science,” CEI argues in its petition.”

    The 1st Amendment doesn’t protect “speech opining on public controversies?” Only in the two “left coasts” Appeals Courts.

  4. I disagree that comparing the way Mann treats data to the way Sandusky treated young boys was “inappropriate”.

    It was crude, and even if it was innaccurate, in the realms of political debate, it was far from inappropriate.

    • The context makes the Sandusky comparison very approppriate. It was the Chancellor(? title) of Penn State who, when brought the issue of Sandusky stuff, chose to bury it and let it go because it would harm the football team which was a big earner for the U. He got fired for it and I believe was also indicted for it. Before he was fired, he also ‘cleared’ Mann in an investigation of email evidence of malfeasance because Mann was also a cash cow for the State Penn, opps, I mean Penn Stated.

    • DC Court of Appeals decision: A landmark in judicial stupidity. Only parties grossly ignorant of the history of science could hold such a position.

      Yet another demonstration that Trump needs to get off his derriere and commission a review of the alleged “consistently validated scientific research”. It would make a review by the SC irrelevant – because it would render the lower court decision invalid.

    • Mann is a data fiddler, he molests data to get the result he wants. The analogy is spot on.

  5. The Courts of the 10th Circuit have covered themselves with …fog. Thick, obtuse fog. Only the Supremes may lift this First Amendment fog that distorts unfettered debate and clear-sighted reasoning.

    • Hmmm… I think that saying is fairly common throughout the world… maybe. I know I have heard it a time or two.

  6. “CEI admitted comparing Mann to Sandusky was “inappropriate,” ”

    But they didn’t… the actual suggestion was that as the Penn state authorities actively covered up Sandusky’s child rape they couldn’t really be trusted to investigate anything else… that point is hard to argue against…

    • The CEI writer did say Mann “could be said to be” the Sandusky of climate science, but instead of molesting boys, he was molesting data or something to that effect.

      It was Mark Steyn who compared the investigations. He even went so far as to say, “Not sure I’d have extended that metaphor all the way into the locker-room showers with quite the zeal Mr Simberg does” and “Whether or not he’s ‘the Jerry Sandusky of climate change’, he remains the Michael Mann of climate change.” So he distanced himself from the CEI comment. But he dared to call the hockey stick “fraudulent.”

  7. “speech opining on public controversies like the debate over climate science,” So liberals think some subjects should be off-limits for free speech? If there is public controversy, all the more reason to have a public discussion about it; not hide it. And receiving a Nobel prize doesn’t grant you exemption from scrutiny.

    • On the contrary. Claiming to have received a Nobel prize which was never awarded is well deserving of intense public scutiny’

      • Michael Mann did not just claim to be a Nobel prize winner, but invented the new crime of “defaming a Nobel laureate” in his initial filing against Mark Steyn and the National review.

  8. The type of speech that the first amendment is mainly concerned with is exactly controversial speech, uncontroversial speech doesn’t need protecting.

    Ironically if Michael Mann had won a Nobel Prize it would have made him less likely to win a defamation suit, because there would be little doubt that he was a public figure. As it is, there very little likelihood that he will win, because even without a Nobel Prize he is still a public figure although lesser know than he would be had he won the Nobel Prize.
    It should be pointed out that the Nobel Prize he claims he won was for peace, not science, so even if he had won that Nobel it would say nothing about criticizing his scientific honesty. While lying about winning a Nobel Prize says a lot about his general dishonesty.

  9. If the CEI’s complaint really said that, “The Climategate emails “revealed that Mann’s famous ‘hockey stick’ diagram employed a ‘trick’ ‘to hide the decline’ in global temperatures”‘” then they’re materially wrong.

    Mann’s original hockey stick was fabricated by way of a false statistical method to mine data for hockey stick shapes. The hide the decline came later.

    • Upon reflection; it would be funny and difficult for Mann’s team to try to correct that statement. No matter what they, they makes things worse.

      • Plus ‘hide the decline’ was NOT hiding the decline in global temperature but rather the decline in the tree ring proxy temperature – the “divergence problem” iirc.

        • Since the proxies showed declining temperatures after 1960, the scientists involved had some decisions to make. Instead of reviewing their data/methods, they decided to commit scientific fraud by truncating the proxy data at 1960 and substituting instrument data in a graph submitted to the journal, Nature. That was “Mike’s [Mann] Nature trick” uncovered in the Climategate emails. The fraud was carried through into the next UN IPCC Assessment Report.

          And all those involved in the scientific fraud have continued to be given academic awards and feted at all the “right” gatherings. Additionally, Mann’s shoddy Hockey Stick “work” is still cited by CliSci practitioners, despite being exposed as garbage by others’ scholarly work.

    • Yep. Even after Mann tortured the data as much as possible, the most recent data still wouldn’t confess to Mann-made global warming. So he simply threw out the data he didn’t like and spliced in Gavin Schmidt’s molested temperature data instead.

      Never, ever, ever refer to Michael Mann as a ‘scientist’.

    • It’s infuriating that the lawyers get this fundamental point so wrong. They say in their brief ” The “Climategate” emails relied upon by Simberg revealed that Mann’s famous “hockey stick” diagram employed a “trick” “to hide the decline” in global temperatures where the hockey stick’s upward-trending blade showed a sharp increase in recent warming”. That’s false. Jones described two “tricks” that Mann used in his Nature paper, one was to splice thermometer temperarure records on the the tree ring reconstruction, and secondly to Hide the Decline in the Briffa tree ring data, meaning that trees which were perportedly showing increasing temperature in the past were in the modern era signaling a decline in temperatures (which was obviously incorrect as we know from thermometers). The reason this is important is that it calls into question the reliability of tree rings as accurate proxies of past temperatures. If tree rings were not showing modern temperatures accruately, how could could they be relied on to accurately “measure” past temperatures.

      The reason it’s important in the filing is that is purpetutates the easily disprovable myth that Hide the Decline refers to temperatures, and tends to discredit those how are arguing for integrity in science. I hope the lawyers can change this point. Talk to Steve McIntyre to get the exact wording right.

  10. “The Climategate emails “revealed that Mann’s famous ‘hockey stick’ diagram employed a ‘trick’ ‘to hide the decline’ in global temperatures”

    jesus. get your facts right.

    • Yes, I don’t know if that comes from CEI or Bastasch. The article presents it a direct citation but CEI are generally more on the ball than to get a key issue that badly wrong.

      The controversy stemmed from the release of hacked emails taken from University of East Anglia servers.

      Despite the UKs top anti-terrorist cyber crimes unit being put on this straight away, they never managed to find the slightest proof of a hack. This is a media slur intended to dishonestly distract and diminish the relevance of what was revealed in the emails.

    • Yep, they got that detail wrong, but it is hardly central to their case. But I guess you have to pick at whatever nits you can find.

  11. Well, I’ll go further: Michael Mann is a mendacious sack of filth and a paid, handpicked science-whore who will unquestionably go down in history as one of THE great scientific frauds – infinitely greater than the French swine who “proved homeopathy works.” At least that man’s agenda wasn’t intended to advance an agenda designed to condemn hundreds of millions of people and their descendants to penury.

    His desperation stems from the terrible knowledge that if people don’t accept the mainstream narrative and shuffle willingly into serfdom, this will be his legacy.

  12. The context makes the Sandusky comparison very approppriate. It was the Chancellor(? title) of Penn State who, when brought the issue of Sandusky stuff, chose to bury it and let it go because it would harm the football team which was a big earner for the U. He got fired for it and I believe was also indicted for it. Before he was fired, he also ‘cleared’ Mann in an investigation of email evidence of malfeasance because Mann was also a cash cow for the State Penn, opps, I mean Penn Stated.

    • Yes! The comparison was appropriate; but NOT because of child abuse:

      ….. comparing Penn State’s investigation into Mann’s infamous “hockey stick” graph to the just-concluded investigation into Jerry Sandusky,….

      They were comparing investigations, not people. As noted, in both investigations the basic reason charges were dropped was because of the income each brought to the University.

      Reading of the original articles makes it clear neither defendant accused Mann of child abuse; it is only when phrases are extracted out of context can Mann make his case.

      Michael of course is not paying for any of this; special funds were setup to handle this and the U of V e-mail case.

  13. Eventually the climate cult will have to face the music, and when it does, Mann is just a nasty individual just above everyone is going to be happy to drop Mann in the shit.

    Other people who probably deserve far more than Mann to be the subject of future generations ridicule will probably get away Scot free – but Mann – he just can’t help being the idiot who gets holding the shit-bomb when everyone else has run from the room.

  14. “The D.C. appeals court broke with precedent by ruling that free speech protections did not apply to “speech opining on public controversies like the debate over climate science,” CEI argues in its petition.”
    Scary ,I second Mosher, get the “Hide the decline” right.

    However I love the above summary by CEI.
    “Climate Science” in a nutshell.
    Gospel beyond challenge, even the overpriced former lawyers agree.
    You are “permitted ” free speech, but you may not challenge the orthodoxy.

  15. I expect that the Supreme Court will take the case and find in favor of the CEI’s free speech rights. As far as I can tell, Judge Gorsuch is a particularly strong defender of free speech. link Dr. Mann’s lawyers have to argue why the CEI went beyond its free speech rights.

  16. “Many global warming skeptics said the emails showed malfeasance on the part of scientists involved in United Nations climate assessments.”

    This falls into the jaws of their PR machine. It is better to simply say:

    “Many scientists said the emails showed malfeasance on the part of scientists involved in United Nations climate assessments.”

  17. Slowly but surely the alarmists are being reeled in. It has everything to do with Conservatives/Populists/Nationalists or whatever you want to call them voting themselves back into power and rejecting the upstart orthodoxy aimed at creating a new world order.

  18. If the “Nobel prize recipient” claim is made in court how about an indictment for perjury?

    • David Chappell May 24, 2019 at 5:54 pm
      The Nobel prize claim could be a problem for Michael Mann. Seems the claim was used in the court filing. Yes it could be perjury if the court were to press the issue
      Now of course if merely claimed to be “Kentucky Colonel” he would be okay.

      michael

  19. The 1st Amendment even guarantees hate speech, so Steyn’s comic remarks on Mann’s hilarious Hockey Stick rubbish is not only protected, it’s true.

    Here is a joke that’s actually true:

    Mann’s Hockey Stick algorithm was so bad, you could input 50 years of random National Hockey League game scores through the program and get a Hockey Stick graph..

    Sue me..

    • The critique of Mann’s program I saw was that autocorrelated noise would yield a hockey stick, and sports scores might be that sort of red noise.

  20. The “leak” did not undermine, but rather, to the persistent angst of Press and Profits alike, confirmed the science, observable, reproducible, and deducible.

  21. I would not bet on glaciers over decision on this case.

    Tesla going bankrupt before the case is decided would be a better bet.

    https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/bursting-tesla-stock-bubble-100000110.html

    Morgan Stanley threw the biggest blow, declaring that in a worst-case scenario, Tesla’s shares could sink to a shocking $10. A Wedbush analyst said the carmaker is facing a “code red situation” and cast doubt on whether Tesla can sell enough of its electric cars to make a profit.

    The stock has fallen almost 10% this week, leaving it down a staggering 43% on the year. Some $23 billion in shareholder value has been wiped out, sinking the company’s market cap back below that of General Motors and Ford.

    Musk himself added to the gloom and doom last week when he told staff in a memo that even after a recent $2.7 billion fund raising in markets, the company risked running out of cash in 10 months without “hardcore” cost cuts. Then came renewed attention on a fatality in a Tesla operating on Autopilot …

  22. I’m actually surprised a writ of mandamus hasn’t been requested to compel movement from lower courts in this egregiously slow-moving case.

    On one side you have a single individual pitted against large, well funded organizations. Mandamus does not compel a specific decision (for or against Mann), but is does compel timely action.

      • America’s judicial system has managed to delay resolution by bungling a law, SLAPP, which was meant to streamline resolution of political lawsuits. Add in an ignorant and lazy judge and you have chaos.

  23. Should the science itself be fully revealed, its incompetence and lack of integrity would be obvious to all. However, we have already tipped into the Landscheidt mini Iceage and the climate itself is invalidating the official global warming model. See Paullitely.com for the verifiable details. It will be obvious to all by 2021.

  24. Political objectives run by legal cost attrition is a shameful mark upon the entire legal system. It’s almost as bad as courtroom science for jury manipulation.

  25. “It is one thing to engage in discussion about debatable topics,” Mann’s attorneys wrote in his 2012 complaint. “It is quite another to attempt to discredit consistently validated scientific research through the professional and personal defamation of a Nobel prize recipient.”

    Mann’s main personal problem isn’t “defamation of character” but rather his personal “inflamation of character”.

    • Mann is an overinflated character. Is that an adhom? Then put it this way, Mann’s problem is his character. Unfortunately, his character is our problem too.

  26. More than several times I was defamed in the news media. I was even investigated twice by our state attorney general and who found nothing wrong yet I was blasted in the news media as if I had been tried and convicted in court. A couple of times the attacks and name calling was so bad I went to lawyers. I was going to file a defamation suit. My lawyers said I was too much of a public figure. First Amendment consideration would trump my complain. I can assure I am far less of a public figure or as well known as Mann. This is case of another liberal court creating “rights and privileges” out of thin air.

    And who the heck is funding Mann’s attorneys?

  27. “Mann’s initial complaint also falsely claimed he and his colleagues had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Mann was, in fact, not awarded the Nobel for his climate science work.”
    I suggest an edit here to make it more clear that Michael Mann is not the recipient of any Nobel Prize of any sort nor for any reason.

  28. What ever happened to the Mann and Ball court case… something about Mann should be in the State Pen rather than Penn State. Mann has thin skin when it comes to good humor 🙂

  29. ““It is one thing to engage in discussion about debatable topics,” Mann’s attorneys wrote in his 2012 complaint. “It is quite another to attempt to discredit consistently validated scientific research through the professional and personal defamation of a Nobel prize recipient.””

    What unmitigated BS! From What I have been reading, it’s more like, “CONSISTENTLY UNVALIDATED scientific research” since there has yet to be any sign of actual ‘warming’! How can the entire world’s governments be so brainwashed? The evidence is there, for any fool to see!

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