Something is up

There are two new filings in the original case which have not been reported on. It looks like Cuccinelli did actually file his appeal, and UVa filed a response and motion to dismiss the appeal on Nov. 4. Unfortunately, I’m on my way out of town and won’t have a chance to run by the courthouse, but someone should look into this…..

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New filings

UVa has filed it’s response to Cuccinelli, but it’s likely irrelevant for the time being.  Whaaaaa?

That’s because UVa also filed a motion to stay all proceedings regarding the most recent CID.  And I’m almost certain they will get it.

When Cuccinelli failed in his previous attempt to get the CID, he stated that he would both file a new CID and appeal the original decision.  The new CID has been filed, and Cuccinelli has begun procedures to begin the appeal process on the original CID.  Hopefully, you should be asking the question, aren’t these two actions redundant?  The answer is clearly yes, and furthermore, that the outcome of one hinges on the outcome of the other.

So what UVa has done is submit a motion to put the new CID on hold until the appeal process on the first CID is complete.  I can’t think of a rational reason for a judge to reject the stay, unless the appeal process on the first CID is too tentative to stay the new CID.  I strongly suspect a judge will rule in UVa’s favor on this motion, so we will have to wait a while for the appeal process to finish before anything new comes from the on the new CID front…..

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Another Cuccinelli-Fail

Completely unrelated to climate change, Cuccinelli still can’t seem to get his facts right.  As part of his suit challenging the health care reforms, Cuccinelli “suggested that not even the British would have attempted to force Americans to buy a product.”

Tell that to the Chinese.  In the 19th century, Britain had two wars with China so they could force the Chinese to buy opium in order to rectify the gross Chinese trade imbalance.  Given Cuccinelli’s misrepresentation of science, it’s not surprising he also misrepresents history.

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Heading towards a science showdown

Many others have already covered how spectacularly bad this latest CID is.  What I intend to look at for this particular volley is whether or not it remedies the problems under which the original CID was rejected.

In summary, not terribly much has changed in substance, but the case is on slightly less dubious legal ground.  The scope is narrowed from five grants to one, but the scope of the evidence is not.  Cuccinelli tried to state a case based on poor statistical significance, but something tells me that the odds of a judge buying that as fraud have poor statistical significance.  For better or for worse, though, this new case will rely much more on the substance of Mann’s research, since Cuccinelli has now patched over the superficial legal flaws which were used as grounds for dismissing this case previously.   I predict the questions for the court to decide will be “Does the AG have objective reason to believe that a violation occured?” and “Is the scope of evidence sought appropriate?”  The former is all about the science.  The second is unlikely to result in an outright dismissal.  Therefore we will be having science put to the test in a court hearing.

The rest is below.

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At last I can retire and give up this life of crime*

*this is an obligatory Serenity reference.  Suffice it to say, my hopes of not having anything more to blog about have been dashed.

Cuccinelli has done it again.

Sigh.

Unfortunately, I’m out of town at the moment and don’t have time to look at it in detail.  I’ll try to see if Cuccinelli has actually improved the previous deficiencies and post something about it by the end of the weekend.

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Academic freedom wins (for now)!

Cuccinelli’s Civil Investigative Demand (a subpoena in all but name) has been set aside.  However, it’s not a clear and convincing enough victory that Cuccinelli can’t try the same thing again with a better worded CID.  For the most part, however, this ruling is a major setback to Cuccinelli’s anti-science crusade.

The one sentence summary is that although the current CID is severely deficient, a new CID filed that only pertains to funds spent after Jan. 1, 2003 on the single internal UVa grant that seeks specific information relating to that grant might be valid if a specific allegation of fraud can be stated.  The Judge Peatross’s decision hinges on the answer to six questions and most of his answers contain a “but” that Cuccinelli can use to file again.  Details under the cut:

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A Day in Court

So I will start off with my first impression of the court case overall, and I will leave my relatively raw and detailed notes of what was argued below the cut.

Uva tried to argue that the key issue was that the university was not a person or corporation and instead a state agency. The judge did not seem terribly enamored of this argument, especially since the law under “Corporations” explicitly states that the university is a corporation. Uva tried to argue that down by pointing out it has both a corporate/state agency duality, and that state agency nature was dominant here. I got the impression the judge didn’t buy that argument.

However, the judge was equally unimpressed with a critical argument from the AG’s side. He repeatedly asked them what the basis for a fraud claim was and they never really answered in any more than a vague sense.  The judge was also seemed displeased with the argument that the AG had no need to set out a particular instance of fraud to conduct “”only”” an investigation.

These arguments took up the majority of the time in court. The Judge indicated he was not ready to render a decision and would have to think it over. He informed the parties to expect a decision within ten days.

My blow by blow is below:

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