This just in from the American Tradition Institute
Yesterday the American Tradition Institute (ATI) participated in more than four hours of oral argument in the Prince William County Circuit Court, in its effort to have faculty emails which were paid for by the taxpayer, in pursuit of taxpayer funded employment, declared public records, declared subject to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA) and released under that Act. The trial-court level judge ruled from the bench, siding with ATI on the first two questions, with the University of Virginia on the third, while rejecting the arguments of intervenor Michael Mann. ATI's comments on this development are as follow.
- it reflected judicial disdain for, and flat, serial and often stern cautions against the global warming industry's preferred tactic of argumentum ad hominem;
- it recognized that many local, state and federal policies that flow from work such as that at the core of Climategate, and ATI's case (and of course there are also even international).
- the Court seemed to acknowledge and sanction release of emails under, e.g., ATI’s requests seeking correspondence between academics and media, which recent requests have already revealed close coordination between activist academics and reporters, a practice reflected in Mann’s Climategate email;
- the Court also seemed somewhat unnerved by what it learned about Mann's behavior in pursuit of what the Court also quoted as "the cause", also noting more than once that Mann made clear he knew his emails might get out.
However, the offense at, and the many, clearly deeply seated rebukes to Mann's regrettable tactics, and rejection of the taxpayer-dependent establishments' rhetorical hand-waving does not for now make that substantive conclusion -- in Virginia, the school is free to do what it wishes, including about 'tricks to hide the decline', etc. -- much sweeter for the Virginia taxpayer.