Free Speech

Tell Congress: Protect Online Speech From Meritless Lawsuits

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Deep-pocketed individuals and corporations have been turning to civil lawsuits to silence their opponents. These Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, or SLAPPs, aren’t designed to win on the merits, but rather to harass journalists, activists, and consumers into silence by suing them over their protected speech.

Now there’s a bill in Congress that could allow speakers targeted by SLAPPs to fight back, by getting the lawsuits quickly thrown out, and allow for SLAPP victims to get their legal fees back. The SLAPP Protection Act of 2022 (H.R. 8864), sponsored by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), will protect people from getting sued just for using their Constitutional rights.

Thirty states now have some sort of anti-SLAPP law. The effective ones, such as California’s law, allow for SLAPP lawsuits to be quickly identified and thrown out of court. These laws have passed on a bipartisan basis and have successfully protected speakers of all backgrounds and political views. But there’s no federal anti-SLAPP law, and at least 18 states have no SLAPP protections at all.

The First Amendment gives power to anyone who wants to speak out. We can voice our views on our own blogs or social media, work with an activist organization, and protest on the ground. Wealthy groups shouldn’t be able to shut down those rights with the threat of a bankrupting court case.

Tell your members of Congress to support the SLAPP Protection Act today.


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