All the the Supreme Court

Please consider donating to National Review.

May 28 2019



(Brendan McDermid/Reuters)


Dear NR Friend,

That is where we are taking our case–which so happens too to be your case, and merits your support. Mann v. National Review, Inc. commenced in 2012, and after seven years of arguing and sparring before the extremely liberal D.C. Court of Appeals, it has now reached a critical point.

It's a point that is critical not only for this institution, but for the First Amendment. And, therefore, for you. The reason: Most legal experts believe that Mann v. National Review, Inc. is the most important free-speech litigation now before any American court.

The ramifications are so serious we contend the case should not be before...just any court. Last week, National Review's counsel filed a petition for writ of certiorari, asking the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States to agree to hear this case in its next term.

Our rationale is clear and simple, our fight is consequential: Free speech must be protected and vindicated. We argue in a recent NR editorial:

In 2012, Barack Obama was still president, indeed had four years left in his presidency. "Gangnam Style" was a world-beating music video. Game of Thrones had just gotten started. And, oh yeah, the climate scientist Michael Mann sued National Review over a blog post.

Seven years later, this case has gone pretty much nowhere, thanks to a dilatory D.C. Court of Appeals.

Now, National Review has asked the Supreme Court of the United States to intervene in the case of Mann v. National Review, Inc., to at long last reach a resolution that vindicates free speech.

At stake in this fight is nothing less than the integrity of the First Amendment—and, by extension, the right of all Americans to engage in robust political debate without being dragged into court by the frivolous and the hypersensitive to be bled dry of their time, effort, and money. That, after seven years, National Review has not yet been freed from this frivolous claim is bad enough. But that inconvenience, real as it is, pales in comparison to the damage that would be done to America's broader debate were the indifference of the D.C. Court of Appeals to become a chilling national precedent.

A quick refresher is in order: Michael Mann sued National Review for libel over a 270-word blog post that was critical of his now-infamous "hockey stick" graph and its role within the global-warming debate. Naturally, National Review resolved to fight the suit, which represents one of the worst attempts to bully a press organization in recent memory. As our petition for certiorari notes, Mann's lawsuit presumes that a "subjective, value-laden critique on a matter of public concern can be construed as a provably false fact." Worse still, it presumes that such critiques can—and should—be litigated in the courts, rather than in the public square. Should Mann prevail, our petition concludes, "the result would be to insert courts and juries into every hot-button political and scientific dispute, to allow politicians to sue their critics at will, and ultimately to chill and deter the robust debate that is the lifeblood of our republic."

We do not intend to let this happen. And neither, it should be noted, do any of the many organizations from across the political spectrum that have, at various stages in the process, filed briefs in our behalf. There is not much that brings together National Review, the Washington Post, Time Inc., the ACLU, the Cato Institute, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, but a strong belief in the importance of the freedom of speech does. Michael Mann's shamefully crimped view of how debate should be conducted in this country is not one that any jurisdiction would want to be written into law. As our petition says, Mann is seeking to create a world in which "libel lawyers will be in hot demand, but public debate will dry up." He must not be permitted to do so.

If ever there were a case ripe for oversight from the highest court in the land, this is it. It relates to one of our most important constitutional provisions. It has been deferred for years, to the point of having been evaded. It involves a conflict of authority among the lower courts. It affects the nation's capital, where hotly contested issues often end up.

Everyone knows what they say about justice delayed. In this case, the Supreme Court can bring a long-overdue end to this travesty, and more importantly, make an important statement about the free-speech rights of journalistic organizations on the right, the left, and in between.

NR is approaching the end of its 2019 Spring Webathon. We have been urging your financial support based on our aggressive efforts to combat reemergent socialism. But as you can imagine, our needs are vast, and as you might further imagine, quite correctly, this lawsuit has incurred NR significant out-of-pocket costs. Yes, we have insurance that pays most of the costs of this persistent threat, but there are also many legal costs not borne by our insurer.

If you have been thinking about responding to our appeals to battle socialism and to support NR, consider too that such support will help NR literally defend your right to free speech.

As we have argued, this right is under duress. And we argue this too: You stand up for it when you stand up for us in this critical legal battle. Please donate here, knowing you have our deep appreciation.

Jack Fowler

Anyone interested in a tax-deductible contribution to support the work of National Review Institute, our charitable, 501(c)(3) non-profit sister organization that advances the conservative principles championed by our mutual founder, William F. Buckley Jr., should visit for more information.


national review

Follow Us & Share

19 West 44th Street, Suite 1701, New York, NY, 10036, USA
Your Preferences | Unsubscribe | Privacy
View this e-mail in your browser.


Popular posts from this blog

FOLLOW THE MONEY - Billionaire tied to Epstein scandal funneled large donations to Ramaswamy & Democrats

Breaking: Left-Wing Black History Children’s Book Distributed by Simon & Schuster Is Heavily Plagiarized

Adam Schiff & Gavin Newsom are about to get vetted by Peter Schweizer…