There was some modest activity yesterday in the Mann vs Steyn climate-change hockey-stick case, which will shortly be entering its eighth year. As that ludicrous fact testifies, it has been procedurally bollocksed by the District of Columbia courts, which is why it will almost certainly be headed to the Supreme Court. When it gets there, it will be the most consequential free-speech case since New York Times vs Sullivan fifty-five years ago.
Lest you doubt that, consider yesterday's request by the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press and various other parties to file an amicus brief on the merits of the case - that's to say, on the danger Michael E Mann's victory would pose for the "right to freedom of speech and of the press". Those supporting our side in this battle include not only the chaps you might expect, such as Fox News, but an awful lot you might not - including NBC, The Washington Post and the ACLU. Because they all recognize the threat that Mann poses to a free society in demanding the courts adjudicate public-policy disputes.
That said, at a time when Dr Mann seems increasingly short of friends, he has got one new pal: Step forward Cary Katz, the student-loan billionaire and so-called rock-ribbed "conservative" behind CRTV (now "Blaze TV"). As readers know, Katz and CRTV broke my contract, sued me for ten million bucks, lost on every claim, and then promptly re-sued and re-re-sued me for a combined twenty-five million. The litigious cockwomble has now been reduced to taking Mann's side on free speech, and this week in US District Court called me a "an abuser of the First Amendment because he neither recognizes nor respects the limits that are attendant to the right of free speech in America" (the footnote on page eight here) and makes common cause with Mann and his hockey stick:
That is why this case and Competitive Enterprise Institute v. Mann, 150 A.3d 1213 (D.C. 2016) exist (this is another long-running defamation case against Steyn).
"Competitive Enterprise Institute v. Mann" is actually Mann vs Competitive Enterprise Institute. But Katz, a Vegas billionaire with unlimited resources who's sued me multiple times, likes to see himself as the victim so he understandably mixes up plaintiffs and defendants in other cases, too.
Still, it's heartening to see that even Katz's hometown paper - The Las Vegas Review Journal - recognizes the danger the Mann/Katz view of the First Amendment poses to a free society and is among the supporters of that proposed amicus brief mentioned above.
Three years ago, Mark Levin, Michelle Malkin and I made a profound mistake in getting mixed up with a thin-skinned billionaire seeking to use the cover of "constitutional conservatism" to advance some his personal interests. Two-thirds of those names are no longer with Katz's company. One day the third will come to see that a man who takes the Big Climate enforcers' view of the First Amendment is no friend of "constitutional conservatism".
I repeat my general view: Conservatism does itself no favors when it comes to depend on mercurial and unprincipled sugar-daddies.
PS I like Mark Steyn Club member Owen Morgan's point:
'..this is another long-running defamation case against Steyn.'
So, now, the never-endingness of a case becomes a factor in its favour, according to Katz? At least one Jarndyce must have wished he had dreamt that one up.
Indeed. If the protractedness of litigation is testament to its virtue, Katz is Mother Theresa. I think that's his lawyer's point.
~Programming note: Aside from his regular Thursday date with Tucker tonight at 8pm Eastern, Mark will also be joining Steve, Ainsley and Brian on the curvy couch live on "Fox & Friends" just after 8am Eastern/5am Pacific on Friday morning.
We hope to see a few Michael Mann fans in the crowd for Mark's upcoming show with the great Dennis Miller at the Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on Saturday March 2nd. After all, Wilkes-Barre is a zippy 135-mile drive from Mann's redoubt at State College, Penn, so it would make a lovely Valentine gift for the climate alarmist of your dreams. Especially VIP tickets - with which you'll not only enjoy the best seats in the house, but get to meet Mark and Dennis after the show, have your picture snapped with them, and take home a special autographed gift. But don't leave it too late: the VIP tickets are almost gone!
As for the rest of the first ever Dennis Miller/Mark Steyn tour, it kicks off next week in Reading, Pennsylvania, and there are still a few tickets left. After Reading, Mark and Dennis will be in Syracuse, New York the following night (where, alas, VIP tickets have sold out), and after that headed for Rochester, which for our Ontario readers is a pleasant tootle down the QEW.