The Supreme Court has denied review of a closely watched case involving a well-known climate scientist and two influential conservative platforms. Climate scientist Michael Mann is suing National Review magazine and conservative think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) for defamation after the magazine wrote an adverse article about Mann.
"Instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data," National Review wrote, quoting a blogger from CEI.
The quote references allegations of sexual misconduct Mann faced and was subsequently cleared of nearly a decade ago.
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito dissented on the decision, calling free speech one of the most "important public issues of the day."
"The petition in this case presents questions that go to the very heart of the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech and freedom of the press: the protection afforded to journalists and others who use harsh language in criticizing opposing advocacy on one of the most important public issues of the day," he said.
The case will now proceed through Washington D.C.'s equivalent of a state court.