Virginia Supremes Throw out Deniers

March 2, 2012

For now, Virginians can keep their science, and their nipples. Attorney General Ken Cuchinelli, the Tea Party reformer famous for his initiative to remove the bare nipple from the Virginia State Seal, has lost another one.

Thomas Jefferson would, for this brief moment, be proud.


The Virginia Supreme Court today sided with the University of Virginia in its fight against the state attorney general’s investigation of former U.Va. climate scientist Michael Mann.

The court upheld the Albemarle Circuit Court ruling setting aside Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s civil investigative demands for documents related to grants Mann receive to study global warming.

Cuccinell sought the information under the state’s Fraud Against Taxpayers Act.


In a victory for university scholars, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled today that Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli does not have the authority to demand the release of email and other documents related to the work of former University of Virginia climate scientist Michael Mann. Cuccinelli’s global warming denial machine fishing expedition had been criticized even by climate ‘skeptics’ who are no friends of Prof. Mann.  It raised the chilling question of whether the university could protect researchers’ ability to privately and freely correspond with one another.

The Court’s 26-page ruling is here (PDF).

For Background, start here.

17 Responses to “Virginia Supremes Throw out Deniers”

  1. dana1981 Says:

    Fortunately for most of us, but unfortunately for climate deniers, unlike our legislative branch, our judicial branch actually works pretty well. Witch hunts usually don’t fly in the judicial branch.

  2. The only boob showing now is Ken.


    p.s. Throw one down for me at the party tonight, Mike Mann.

  3. Cucinelli is Virginia’s answer to Orley Taitz. There were a lot of exposed breasts in early paintings of the Revolutionary War. It probably was considered normal when Virginia’s seal was made. I’ve heard of going back to the founding fathers, but turning the clock back even farther than that? What a maroon.

  4. nealjking Says:

    The decision was based on the grounds that UVA, as an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia, cannot be considered as a “legal person”. Seems like rather narrow technical grounds, to me.

    A dissenting opinion disagreed with that view; but focused also on the finding that the AG’s filing did not clearly state what Mann was alleged to have done wrong.

  5. dougalthedug Says:

    This is good news. Proves that the judicial system still works, sort of. But I’d watch the movie A Man Called Horse before you get too dewey eyed about keeping your nipples.

  6. jasonpettitt Says:

    There’s something uncomfortably 1984 about wanting to watch over someone’s email.

    …Only very slightly related by virtue of phony ‘skeptics’ being told to stop wasting everyone’s time, this is rather delicious. Especially once you’ve worked out who the author is and who he’s responding to.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      climate deniers are fundamentally authoritarians. This is why they are so obsessed with
      other people’s email.

  7. My answer to official email eavesdropping is to periodically send an email in which I point out in graphic detail and demotic language how there is nothing more contemptible than a sneaking peeper.

    If rather than giving in to Big Brother’s pressure to “Be discrete!” in emails we were all as outrageously inappropriate as we could be as often as possible, the peepers would have the throw up their hands and admit defeat.

    How about asking Congress to designate a national “Inappropriate Email” day? A day positively carnivalesque (in Bahktin’s sense of the word) in character! It’d be great!

  8. guylacrosse Says:

    This was witch hunt and deserved to be endlessly ridiculed.

    Seriously, if you were plotting a conspiracy would you use your work email account? Something that can be easily traced back to its source? Someone that stupid isn’t bright enough to come up with the type of grand conspiracy climate change deniers frequently refer to.

    BTW, have you see the reports on the deadly tornadoes in the South and Midwest? Is this the new normal?

  9. Martin Lack Says:

    Fantastic – two pieces of good news in almost 24 hours – what is happening?

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