05/28/2010 11:46 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

UVA Goes To Court To Stop Cuccinelli's Subpoena Of Prof's Papers

The University of Virginia is going to court in attempt to thwart a request from state's attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, to obtain the papers of one of its former professors.

The Washington Post reports:

In a motion filed in Charlottesville, the University of Virginia argued that Cuccinelli's subpoena for papers and e-mail from global warming researcher Michael Mann exceeds the attorney general's authority under state law and intrudes on the rights of professors to pursue academic inquiry free from political pressure.

Cuccinelli, a vocal skeptic of global warming who is suing the Environmental Protection Agency over the issue, has said he is investigating whether Mann committed fraud by knowingly skewing data as he sought publicly funded grants for his research. Mann left U-Va. in 2005 and now works at Penn State.

Cuccinelli's move has brought together academics countrywide in support of Mann's cause and raised questions of academic freedom. In a statement, UVA President John Casteen III said that Cuccinelli's effort "sent a chill through the Commonwealth's colleges and universities."

An recent Post report detailed how Cuccinelli was "gaining a reputation as a political antagonist to the state's college campuses."

Earlier this year Cuccinelli angered many on campuses by asserting that colleges are not in a position to protect their gay employees from discrimination.

What do you think? Is Cuccinelli overstepping boundaries? Leave a comment weighing in.