A state judge this week ordered the University of Virginia to stop stonewalling on a Freedom of Information Request for emails from Michael Mann, the creator of the much-disputed “Hockey Stick” reconstruction of historical global temperatures.
The American Tradition Institute filed the FOIA more than 4 months ago, but the University repeatedly delayed the release of the documents, in apparent violation of Virginia’s FOIA law. On May 16, ATI initiated legal proceedings to force the University to comply with its statutory responsibilities. Only then did the University agree to produce all relevant documents by August 22, a commitment to which the University is bound by this week’s ruling.
The parties still disagree on which documents are subject to the FOIA. University of Virginia president Teresa Sullivan has promised to fight to keep certain documents from ATI, in the interests of “academic freedom.” Under the terms of yesterday’s court order, ATI’s counsel must have access to all documents, even the ones the University is trying to withhold, by September 21. The ultimate fate of these disputed documents likely will be adjudicated by the courts.