The University of Virginia (UVA) decided yesterday to fight Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's subpoena of documents related to Michael Mann, a climate scientist who worked at the state school from 1999 to 2005. The Washington Post reports that the latest turn in the struggle—a fight in which 800 scientists across the state sided with UVA—breaks new legal ground. Mann is now a professor at Pennsylvania State University, where one panel cleared him of wrongdoing in an initial investigation of Mann's role in a series of hacked e-mails from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom. Another panel is investigating other aspects of his climate work. From the Post today:
Although Virginia universities have at times tangled with political leaders in Richmond, several experts said legal action is a rare challenge by a public institution of the state's top law enforcement officer. It comes in response to the equally unusual action of a state attorney general using the legal process to compel his own client to produce documents.