On yesterday's pre-Easter edition of the Hugh Hewitt show, Hugh and I discussed the Democratic Party candidate of 2052, Hillary Rodham Clinton's foreign-policy "legacy", and free-speech rights for showbiz celebrities. I also commented on the Virginia Supreme Court's decision to side with Michael E Mann over the American media, and not require him to release his emails:
HUGH HEWITT: I've got to tell you, it's a sad day, because only a few hours ago, the Virginia Supreme Court, the highest court in the state of Madison and Jefferson, the people who wrote the statute on religious liberty, the people who Madison is responsible for the 1st Amendment, that court ruled against the release of documents, and you were on the side of NPR and the Washington Post, Mark Steyn, in your endless litigation with Dr. Mann, which is becoming the Bleak House of the 21st Century.
MARK STEYN: Yes.
HH: Nevertheless, I am shocked that this, I haven't had a chance to read the decision, yet, but when Mark Steyn, NPR and the Washington Post are betrayed by Madison's and Jefferson's court, it's a bad day for speech.
MS: Yeah, basically this is the issue of whether Michael Mann, the global warming hockey stick guy, will cough up his data. And this case in Virginia worked its way to the Supreme Court.... The reason the Washington Post and NPR and all these people got into it was because they understood that a victory for Michael Mann at the Supreme Court would gut the Freedom of Information Act in Virginia. I mean, the University of Virginia is a public university. So these emails are documents of public employees. But essentially for ideological reasons, the court decided to read the University of Virginia, and presumably all other higher education institutions, all other education institutions, indeed, out of the Freedom of Information Act....
But the issue for me is, and why this is important, is because huge public-policy questions hinge on the "science" of global warming, sometimes quite insane ones. I mean, David Cameron's so-called Conservative Party was at one point proposing that people would have a carbon allowance, which would in effect restrict the amount of travel they could do each year. In other words, the Soviet Union banned freedom of movement just because it was a totalitarian state; but the British Conservative Party was proposing to ban freedom of movement in the interest of saving the planet. And everybody's cool with that. So there are huge public policy questions, which is why the science, and the data underlying the science, has to be freely available - because if we're all going to give up our right to get on a long-haul plane and go and take a two-week vacation in the Bahamas or whatever, then the least we're owed is the ability to judge the science and see the data and see the research for ourselves.
You can read the full transcript here. Notwithstanding the Virginia Supreme Court greenlighting a massive bonfire of Mann's notes and data, my lawyers wrote to him and to the University of Virginia today to insist that nothing be destroyed until discovery resumes in our own case. This is a long, tough battle, and I'm very grateful for your support.