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Professor turns to law to protect climate-change work
Hoping to halt release of research documents, emails
Question of the Day
The university does not comment on pending litigation or motions of this nature, spokeswoman Carol Wood wrote in an email.
“The University has consistently stated that it will produce all responsive, non-exempt records that are public documents,” she wrote. “The University has also consistently said that it will carefully review Mr. Mann’s email in order to protect what is legally exempt through FOIA.”
Lawyers for Mr. Mann argue he does have standing and “unquestionably has an interest in this litigation because Petitioners seek the production of Dr. Mann’s personal e-mail communications with professional colleagues throughout the world regarding climate change and other scientific issues.”
They also wrote that Mr. Mann’s interests are not adequately protected due to the “mere fact” that Mr. Schnare and Mr. Horner, under the protective order, can review the exempted emails, though they would do so under a gag order.
“That will be the totality of Mr. Horner and I’s opportunity to weigh in on this,” Mr. Schnare said Tuesday. “Mr. Horner and I will never be permitted to speak about whatever we’ve seen, and if anyone finds out that we have, we’ll have to … go to jail.”
But that prospect still didn’t sit well with Michael Halpern, manager for the Union of Concerned Scientists’ (UCS) Scientific Integrity Program. UCS was one of a consortium of groups that last month sent a letter to University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan asking for a revision of the protective order.
“ATI should not be given special privileges,” he said. “It’s inappropriate for any outside group to have access to emails about student grades, research development and other privileged information.”
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About the Author
David Sherfinski covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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