Jonathan Vankin: Michael E. Mann, Top Climate Scientist, Can Proceed WIth Libel Suit Against Right Wing Blogs, Judge Rules: Noted for September 9, 2013
In the post quoted on National Review, writer Rand Simberg calls Mann, “the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data in the service of politicized science.” Mann’s lawyers asked National Review to remove the post and apologize to Mann. The other blog post, by Peter Wood writing for The Chronicle of Higher Education, also drew a comparison between the Sandusky case and Mann’s alleged involvement in “Climategate,” albeit less directly.
Mann sued both The Chronicle and National Review, saying that the publications had defamed him and damaged his reputation. The publications filed motions to dismiss the lawsuit, which were heard by Washington D.C. Superior Court Judge Natalia Combs Greene last week. Greene ruled that Mann’s claims can go forward. She added that Mann’s case was likely to succeed “on the merits.” “Plaintiff is a member of the scholarly academy and it is obvious that allegations of fraud could lead to the demise of his profession and tarnish his character and standing in the community,” the judge wrote.