Cuccinelli Demands Called 'Governmental Intrusion' Into Climate Science

The University of Virginia has fired a new salvo in a 5-month-old fight with the state's attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, over an investigation of former UVA professor Michael Mann. In a legal brief filed yesterday, the school alleges that the investigation is overbroad, rehashes arguments already rejected by the court, and fails to explain how "Climategate" is relevant to the documents it wants from the school.

In May, citing a law designed to fight misuse of state contracts, Cuccinelli filed a request for e-mails, files, and software relating to two scientific papers about climate change that Mann wrote while at the university, where he worked from 1999 to 2005. In September, after a state judge rejected those requests, the attorney general appealed that ruling to the state's supreme court and reissued a new request for documents.

Yesterday's filing by UVA is an effort to fight the revised request. The school also asked the court to put the case on hold while the state supreme court considers the appeal on the original request.

The Union of Concerned Scientists said the latest efforts by Cuccinelli were more "relentless rubbish."