The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday allowed a prominent climate scientist to pursue a defamation lawsuit against a conservative magazine and a think tank that compared him to a convicted child molester.
The justices declined to hear appeals filed by National Review magazine and the Competitive Enterprise Institute seeking to overturn a lower court’s ruling that allowed the lawsuit filed by scientist Michael Mann to go forward.
One justice, conservative Samuel Alito, dissented, writing that the case raised questions “that go to the very heart of the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech and freedom of the press.”
Agence France-Presse reports:
Mann, the plaintiff, is best known among climate scientists for his “hockey stick” graph, which showed a sharp uptick in the earth’s temperatures over the 20th century as carbon emissions from human activity were on the rise.
“Instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data,” Mark Steyn wrote for the magazine, quoting the work of a blogger at the libertarian think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute, another party to the suit.