Texas: Tell Your State Representatives to Protect Free Speech

If you live in Texas, one of your state’s most critical free speech laws is under attack. The Texas Citizens Participation Act, or TCPA, was passed in 2011 and has helped everyday Texans fight back against illegitimate lawsuits meant to punish people for exercising their First Amendment rights.

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To: jeff.leach@house.texas.gov, jessica.farrar@house.texas.gov, yvonne.davis@house.texas.gov, julie.johnson@house.texas.gov, matt.krause@house.texas.gov, morgan.meyer@house.texas.gov, victoria.neave@house.texas.gov, reggie.smith@house.texas.gov, james.white@house.texas.gov Subject: Oppose HB 2730 Dear House Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee: I'm a Texas resident writing to express my opposition to HB 2730, a bill that would do grievous harm to the Texas Citizens Participation Act. When everyday citizens get sued for exercising their First Amendment rights, they should have a chance to fight back—not simply be intimidated into silence because of huge legal costs. TCPA has proven effective, and has helped countless citizens level the playing field and defend themselves. It has also emboldened individuals to speak out on matters of public concern because they know the TCPA protects their free speech rights. HB 2730 would create huge loopholes in the law, including allowing individuals to harass online speakers and unmask those who speak anonymously while leaving them completely unprotected by the TCPA. It will also leave consumers who write critical reviews of products and services exposed to retaliatory lawsuits. The TCPA was passed unanimously in 2011. I urge you strongly to vote no on HB 2730, an attempt to dismantle one of the most important laws protecting Texans' right to speak freely. Sincerely, [Your name] [Your city]

A recently introduced bill, HB 2730, would cut out the TCPA’s most critical protections. If HB 2730 passes, it will be much easier to use lawsuits to silence all manner of people who speak out, including online reviewers and anonymous speakers.

The bill is expected to get a hearing next week at the Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee in the Texas House of Representatives. We need you to speak out now, and tell committee members to put a stop to this unnecessary bill that will damage Texans’ right to free speech online.