The quick eyes and fingers of Joe Romm have the story.
Cuccinelli's bogus "investigation" was a particularly chilling piece of ideological thuggery, striking as it did at any notion of free inquiry in science. Attacking Michael Mann, one of the world's foremost climatologists, with fraud charges and the threat of an endless, Whitewater-style partisan witch hunt, represented a new and dangerous corruption of the public sphere. Even the creationists, the tobacco pushers and the "scientific" racists, while attacking scientists' results, never dared attack the scientists in this brazen, harassing, threatening way.
It seems like a bad dream, and thanks to Judge Peatross, we can hope against hope that that is all it was. I fear, though, that the loss today will only be temporary. Cuccinelli lost on the facts almost instantly. But the effectiveness of McCarthyism never depended on the ability to win in court. All it requires is a bald-faced liar in a position of authority, a complacent media, a fearful populace, and the willingness to accuse. As far as I can tell, all those factors still exist. Expect to see more scurrilous accusations, and more big lies, until and unless the consequence of such are not just to be defeated but to be discredited, disgraced and speedily dismissed.