Mann vs Steyn: The Trial of the Century

Dubbed the Trial of the Century by Robert Tracinski (LINK), the Michael Mann vs Mark Steyn trial has aroused much interest.

As POWERLINE posted in February:

As all the world knows, climate buffoon Michael Mann is suing Mark Steyn, National Review and others for disagreeing with him about global warming –not just disagreeing, but doing so in colorful language. As happens so often on the Left, Mann found himself losing the debate on a public issue of great importance. Rather than admit that he was wrong about the hockey stick –one of the most notorious errors, or frauds, in the history of science– he is trying to shut his opponents up through litigation.  
Steyn was unhappy with how the lawsuit was going, so he dismissed the lawyers that were representing him and National Review and is now pro se. Rather than engage in further procedural maneuvering, Mark wants to fight out what he sees as the central issue–free speech–in the court of public opinion. So yesterday another shoe dropped: Mark served an answer and counterclaim against Mann in which he requested damages from the discredited scientist. You can read the pleading here. It is entertaining; it should be, Mark wrote it himself.
From Judith Curry's Climate etc:

Steve McIntyre is auditing Mann’s libel case.  He has 3 recent posts: 
BishopHill sums up the most significant bits: 
Steve McIntyre’s latest post at Climate Audit includes the extraordinary revelation that Michael Mann’s latest submission to the courts regarding his libel suit includes a doctored quote. The offending words purport to be an excerpt from the Russell inquiry report, but, demonstrating a startling disregard for the court, the excerpt has been altered to make it look as if Mann had been exonerated by Russell. However, this has been done so badly as to make the alteration fairly obvious. 
Shub identifies the source of the ‘rigor and honesty’ quote as a post fromSkeptical Science. 
The aforementioned piece Trial of the Century by Robert Tracinski (LINK) contains some beautiful writing:

The global warming hysteria is disastrous enough in its intended goal, which is to ban the use of our cheapest and most abundant fuels and force us to limp along on "alternative energy" sources that are insufficient to support an industrial civilization. But along the way, the global warming campaign is already wrecking our science and politics by seeking to establish a dogma that cannot legally be questioned.

Tracinski also points points out some US legal details:
Here is the point at which we need a little primer on libel laws, which hinge on the differentiation between facts and opinion. It is libel to maliciously fabricate facts about someone. (It is not libel to erroneously report a false fact, so long as you did so with good faith reason to believe that it was true, though you are required to issue a correction.) But you are free to give whatever evaluation of the facts you like, including a negative evaluation of another person's ideas, thinking method, and character. It is legal for me, for example, to say that Michael Mann is a liar, if I don't believe that his erroneous scientific conclusions are the product of honest error. It is also legal for me to say that he is a coward and a liar, for hiding behind libel laws in an attempt to suppress criticism. 
These are all reasons that the lawsuit should have been summarily thrown out. It goes beyond the legitimate scope of libel and defamation laws and constitutes an attempt to suppress opinions that are considered politically correct.

On Saturday Mark joined Dan Bongino at WMAL in Washington, DC to discuss his clash of sticks with climate mullah Michael Mann -

There is an issue for everyone on the planet because this single graph (Mann’s fraudulent Hockey Stick)  is the biggest reason why – at the turn of the century when it came out, it was taken up by Al Gore and the IPCC and the UN - it was the greatest pretext for global government anyone had ever devised. If they’re going to institute a kind of global carbon tax regime and essentially change the lifestyles of advanced societies over this graph then we should at least see the science that has gone into this graph. 

The Final Word by Tracinski:
Mann has recently declared himself to be both a scientist and a political activist. But in attempting to intimidate his critics and suppress free debate on global warming, he is violating the fundamental rules of both science and politics. If it is a sin to doubt, then there is no science. If it is a crime to dissent, then there is no politics. 
Mann vs. Steyn may be the trial of the century.