Attempt to grab climate scientists' e-mails rejected by Virginia Supreme Court
The climate researcher Michael Mann last worked at the University of Virginia in 2005, but his past employment has continued to haunt him. Virginia's attorney general, Kenneth Cuccinelli decided that, in the wake of some of Mann's work e-mails being released, he'd like to see more of them. So, he sued UVa under Virginia's Fraud Against Taxpayers Act (FATA), claiming that Mann had engaged in fraudulent activity. A preliminary ruling had blocked the suit, as Cuccinelli was unable to specify whether there was any actual fraud to investigate. Cuccinelli appealed, and the Virginia Supreme Court has now officially thrown out the suit. The ruling indicates that the suit was flawed from the start. The statute in question allows suits that target persons and corporations, but UVa is an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and past precedent dictates it is "entitled to the protection of the immunity of the state." In fact, the majority ruled that treating the university as subject to the Act would ...
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