Addressing a potential conflict between California’s anti-SLAPP law and the federal procedural rules, the Ninth Circuit last month specified what analysis courts should use when faced with a motion to dismiss a “Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.”
Bruce E.H. Johnson and Antoinette Bonsignore write in the Seattle Times, "It’s critical for the Legislature to restore the safeguards and protections in a 2010 statute that had protected sexual-assault survivors from defamation lawsuits by their abusers."
PPP Policy Director Evan Mascagni published an Op-Ed in Ohio that ran in several newspapers across the state advocating for anti-SLAPP legislation in Ohio. The Op-Ed is published in full below.
Immediately following a report by the New York Times that he allegedly sexually assaulted numerous women throughout his career, Harvey Weinstein threatened to sue the Times for defamation. For First Amendment legal scholars, this comes as no surprise. There’s a long history of powerful bullies attempting to use the legal system to silence their critics.
A developer sued a South Carolina town in 2016 over a zoning issue, and a few residents who had spoken critically about the development were subpoenaed for their comments on the matter. “The subpoenas demanded residents' communications, including Facebook and Twitter posts, to or from other residents of Simmons Pointe, the homeowners association, the town, elected officials, appointed members of the Board of Zoning Appeals and others.” Though the lawsuit settled, Mount Pleasant Town Council urged state lawmakers to pass the Citizens Participation in Government Act of 2018.
"President Donald Trump’s legal threats against the publisher and author of the most recent insider account of the White House may strike a nerve with journalists who are fearful of expensive legal defenses and chill valuable news reporting, but the threats could lose much of their power if states or Congress strengthened a tool that judges may use to dismiss meritless lawsuits involving speech protected under the First Amendment."