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Supreme Court allows Mann defamation case to proceed

The Supreme Court today ruled that the defamation suit of global warming activist Michael Mann against the National Review and the Competitive Enterprise Institute can go forward.

On Monday, the Supreme Court denied a petition by the Competitive Enterprise Institute and National Review magazine to rehear and dismiss the defamation lawsuit brought by well-known climate scientist Michael Mann. The Competitive Enterprise Institute and National Review have been fighting for years to dismiss the case before it goes to trial, but the Supreme Court’s denial means the case will move forward in D.C. district court.

The Supreme Court rejected the petition without comment. But Justice Samuel Alito, a conservative, dissented, arguing that the case addresses critical freedom of speech and freedom of the press issues.

The court has basically ruled that Mann should be allowed his day in court. Since the case stems from criticism of Mann’s shoddy climate science work, I suspect he will find himself having problems once that day arrives, as he did in Canada.

The bad part of this is that it allows Mann to achieve part of his strategy, which is to chill any criticisms of his shoddy work, out of fear he will sue and thus cost the critic a lot of money mounting a defense. No one should be allowed to use the law as a weapon to prevent criticism, especially if that criticism successfully proves the nature of that person’s very shoddy and incompetent climate research, including faking data and hiding pertinent real data.

UPDATE: I have crossed out the words above because they misconstrued my intended meaning. Mann’s effort to use the law to try to squelch opposing points of view is wrong, but in a free society we must allow him this bad behavior. If the law functions properly, his misbehavior (and shoddy science work) will become very evident with time.

By the way, did I mention that Mann’s scientific work is generally very shoddy, and not very trustworthy?


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  • Wodun

    Some speedy trial.

  • Phill O

    Hope he gets (has to) to show how he arrived at the data.

  • Gary

    We have to allow the law to be used as a weapon if we want to use it as a defense against tyranny. Good judges can mitigate the damage, but it’s a cost of freedom.

  • Gary: You are correct. I am going to rephrase my post, as I did not write what I really meant.

  • wayne

    Star Trek Original:
    “Omega Glory”

    (“I’ve found that Evil usually triumphs, unless Good is very, very, careful.”)

  • Edward

    Robert wrote: “If the law functions properly, his misbehavior (and shoddy science work) will become very evident with time.

    But at what cost?

    The National Review and Mark Steyn made an observation about Mann and, along with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, have been hemorrhaging money these past few years, but it is Mann who is allowed to abuse the system in an attempt to shut up his opponents.

    If the courts allow such misbehavior and such abuse of their system, then where are we? The only reason for this case to go forward is so that the courts can find a solution to this abuse and bad behavior. If they don’t, then this was a waste of everyone’s resources, and untrustworthy actors could tie up valuable court and attorney time as well as innocent observer finances in an attempt to force the innocent to say that they, the untrustworthy, are trustworthy. This is all that Mann is trying to do. He is trying to keep his shoddy scientific work from being exposed by the likes of Steyn.

    Do we have free speech, or do we have to pay attorneys and the courts for our speech?

  • Cotour

    Zman, Gary:

    In other words, things are as they should be.

    This is where the Constitution has delivered us all to, and soon the people after absoring it all will comment as to who and how they want their power to be exercized.

    Even in all of the chaos and contention things are going alone very well. This is our system, adversarial political warfare, the bloodless management and transfer of power. And the more contentious and perverted it gets the better the corruption is revealed and the people see who is attempting to deceive them and usurp their power.

    Once again the Founders brilliance is revealed.

  • Cotour

    “At what cost?”

    Its not about the money, or the time, or the chaos, or the contention, the yelling and the screaming, its about the ultimate result that the system delivers.

    If our system is to work there must be contention and adversaries must demonstrate and prove the validity of their argument. And if they are unable to do so they lose.

    And we move on into the future in a positive manner.

  • wodun

    Well, the courts should have thrown the case out as a frivolous lawsuit. That is has gone on so long is because the defendants have petitioned the court to have it thrown out and appealed their decisions up to SCOTUS. The case could have been determined a long time ago but since it wasn’t thrown out, it is hard to guess how the courts will come down on the merits of the case.

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