From The Washington Post: The fight by a conservative legal group and Del. Robert Marshall (R-Prince William) to obtain the e-mails written by leading climate change scientist Michael E. Mann while he was at the University of Virginia was shot down by a judge in Prince William County last year. But Marshall and the legal group appealed, and the Virginia Supreme Court has agreed to take the case and rule on whether the state’s Freedom of Information Act exempts unpublished academic research from being disclosed to the public, even after it’s been concluded or has been released elsewhere.
Mann has been gone from U.Va. since 2005 and is now at Penn State, where he published his book, “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars,” a reference to a hockey stick-shaped graph depicting the rise in global temperatures and the controversy surrounding it. While Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli tried and failed to obtain Mann’s work material by investigative subpoena, Marshall and the American Tradition Institute filed a detailed, 11-page FOIA request in 2011. That request wound up in Prince William County Circuit Court after U.Va. determined that there were more than 13,000 potentially responsive documents and about 12,000 were exempt under a FOIA clause which excludes “Data, records or information of a proprietary nature produced or collected by or for faculty or staff of public institutions of higher learning…in the conduct of or as a result of study or research on medical, scientific, technical or scholarly issues…where such data, records or information has not been publicly released, published, copyrighted or patented.”
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