UPDATE! The verdict is in: Mann wins.
On Wednesday, late in the day at 4pm Deep State Standard Time, Mann vs Simberg and Steyn finally went to the jury, and they retired to deliberate. So now we await their verdict - as, on this same day just a few blocks away, President Trump awaits the decision of a supposedly "conservative" Supreme Court on whether he can be permitted to appear on the ballot. I am exhausted by what passes for "justice" in America, and I expect he feels the same.
In my case, the last phase of the trial - closing arguments - began yesterday after lunch: closing arguments - first, lead counsel John Williams for plaintiff Michael E Mann; next, Victoria Weatherford for defendant Rand Simberg; and then Mark Steyn for Mark Steyn.
Oh, and after that Williams returned for his "rebuttal" - because, under the disgusting perversion of the norms of justice operated by DC and other US courts, it is not the accused who gets the last word but his accuser.
You might recall that exactly a week ago we linked to Kerry Wakefield's excellent primer on the trial from The Spectator Down Under. This was Miss Wakefield's final paragraph:
Given the vindictive USD$83 million damages found against Trump in his case against serial rape accuser E. Jean Carroll, one cannot be optimistic about any jury trial in deep blue Washington DC. But Steyn is going down fighting, and one cannot but admire his guts and brio, even if his bank balance has been cleaned out. Sadly Steyn, representing himself, is now in a wheelchair, having recently suffered three heart attacks. If ever there were a case deserving funding, it is his. The trial continues.
Williams played the Trump card in the final minutes of the trial, linking "election deniers" with "science deniers" and asking the jury to send a strong message to stop attacks on all the other scientists out there:
MR. WILLIAMS: And as you've been instructed, if you find punitive damages are appropriate for outrageous behavior, you can set an amount not just to punish, but to serve as an example to prevent others from acting in the same — in a same or similar way.
These attacks on Climate Scientists have to stop, and you now have the opportunity—
MS. WEATHERFORD: Objection.
MR. STEYN: Objection.
THE COURT: Sustained.
MR. WILLIAMS: Sustained? I am saying this heated...
MR. STEYN: My Lord, he's continuing to talk.
THE COURT: You received an admonition, really from the Court of Appeals. Climate Science discussions, discourse are not part of this case.
MR. WILLIAMS: I understand.
THE COURT: And so you're raising this, and the jury will think that Climate Science is the subject of this case. This is a defamation case.
MR. WILLIAMS: All right.
THE COURT: And I'm going to let you know once again, all right?
MR. STEYN: Judge Anderson specifically told the Plaintiff that he does not represent Science... That's not what this case is about. It's him [POINTS TO MANN], and me, and Simberg. And to try to expand it to the massed ranks of Science...
MR. WILLIAMS: I will clarify.
MR. STEYN: No, no, no. Let's have the Judge clarify...
THE COURT: The objection is sustained. Members of the Jury, this case is a defamation case...
But Counsellor Flim-Flam figures they got the message: Go Rudy or go home. So, you never know, by the time you read this I may be a hundred-and-fifty million dollars lighter.
My old chum Barbara Kay has a column about this case's "important implications for freedom of speech". That's true. Way back when, in the first half-decade of Mann's suit, The Washington Post and a bunch of other "mainstream" news outlets all filed amici briefs on the defence's side against the threat posed by Mann to the First Amendment. Alas, in the years since, freedom of expression has degenerated into a mere alt-right fetish - and, by the time the Post got around to running a story on the case, it was left to the "climate reporter" to cover it: He showed up in court on Day Eleven. In the old days, newspapers used to have court reporters to report on the courts. But they seem to have gone the way of the buggy whip.
Here is how the "mainstream" press, none of whom had a legal correspondent in court, are covering this case. The Associated Press:
Jury to decide on climate scientist Michael Mann's defamation suit over comparison to molester
After waiting 12 years, this famed climate scientist fights his critics in court
Climatologist Michael Mann is suing two bloggers, part of a mounting campaign to defend scientists against attacks from right-wing critics
It's been 12 years since a pair of conservative writers compared a prominent climate scientist to a convicted child molester for his depiction of global warming...
In a D.C. courtroom, a trial is wrapping up this week with big stakes for climate science. One of the world's most prominent climate scientists is suing a right-wing author and a policy analyst for defamation.
The case comes at a time when attacks on scientists are proliferating, says Peter Hotez, professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology at Baylor College of Medicine. Even as misinformation about scientists and their work keeps growing...
Whatever happens in the days ahead, whatever time that remains to me, I shall never read an American newspaper again.
In the absence of any NPR or ABC reporter in court, it fell to everyone's favourite Irish chancers, Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer, to do the job the wanker American media won't do. Click below for their dramatisation of the closing arguments:
All that remains now is the verdict.
We thank everyone who signed up for one of our limited-edition trial souvenirs: The SteynOnline Liberty Stick is now sold out - and will ne'er be offered again. On the other hand, you may prefer a copy of Mark's book about Mann - which Judge Irving has declined to admit into evidence. Or why not treat a chum to a SteynOnline gift certificateor a Mark Steyn Club gift membership?