Today is the close of briefing in our appeal of Michael Mann’s defamation suit against the Competitive Enterprise Insitute, CEI adjunct Rand Simberg, National Review and Mark Steyn. Some background information and the court filings can be found here.
We’re appealing a lower court’s refusal to dismiss this case under the District of Columbia’s anti-SLAPP statute, which protects participants in public debate from being silenced by meritless lawsuits. Groups ranging from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the ACLU to the Cato Institute and the Electronic Frontier Foundation view Mann’s suit as being exactly that—meritless—and they make this clear in the amicus briefs they filed in our support.
One of Mann’s arguments is that his work has been “exonerated” by a number of investigations, including that of EPA. As our reply brief shows, that is simply untrue. But one thing that EPA did examine was Mann’s own claim that the work of certain opposing scientists was a “fraud”. In EPA’s view, “fraud” is an “entirely acceptable and appropriate” term in scientific debate. (CEI Reply Brief at p.11.)
In short, EPA didn’t exonerate Mann, but it may well have exonerated the defendants.