November 25, 2019 / 2:44 PM / 20 days ago

U.S. Supreme Court lets climate scientist's defamation claim proceed

WASHINGTON, Nov 25 (Reuters) - 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.”

Mann, a Penn State professor known for his research on climate change, filed suit in a local court in the District of Columbia in 2012 after online posts by the magazine and think tank that compared him to convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach at the same university in State College, Pennsylvania.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages. (Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)

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