By Nicholas Datlowe
Bloomberg BNA

Bloomberg BNA — The research records of climate scientist Michael Mann are exempt from disclosure under Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled April 17.

“Because we do not attribute to the General Assembly an intention to disadvantage the Commonwealth’s public universities in comparison to private colleges and universities, we hold that the higher education research exemption’s desired effect is to avoid competitive harm not limited to financial matters,” Justice Donald W. Lemons wrote for the court.

The court relied in particular on the affidavits of scholars, quoting the vice president and provost of the University of Virginia at length, who argued that requiring release of the requested documents in this situation would chill the desire of academics to work for and with the university.

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