Judge: UVa. climate researcher's emails are exempt from conservatives' FOIA requests

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Supreme Court has upheld a judge's decision rejecting a conservative group's attempt to obtain a former University of Virginia climate researcher's emails.

The justices on Thursday agreed with retired Arlington Circuit Judge Paul Sheridan that researcher Michael Mann's emails are exempt from the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.

The records were sought by the American Tradition Institute, which disputes the assertion by Mann and other climate scientists that decades of heat-trapping carbon gas emissions into the atmosphere are responsible for global warming. State Delegate Bob Marshall (R-13th) joined the institute in seeking the records.

Mann is the professor that was the high-profile target of former Virginia attorney general and Republican candidate for governor, Ken Cuccinelli. Cuccinelli lost to Terry McAuliffe in the November election.

According to the court, Mann's emails are proprietary records exempt from disclosure because they deal with academic research.