Online Speech Backers' Newest Fear: Trump

PPP Policy Director Evan Mascagni was recently quoted in a Politico article about SLAPPs and Donald Trump:

Trump’s litigiousness has extended into the presidential campaign. In November, following reports of a $2.5 million pro-Kasich super PAC investment in anti-Trump ads, Trump tweeted: “I will sue him just for fun!

In some cases, he has openly acknowledged that going to court is less about seeking justice and more about joyfully punishing enemies. In one infamous example, he sued a New York Times business editor over a book in which the writer reported on doubts that Trump was the billionaire he claimed to be.

“I spent a couple of bucks on legal fees, and they spent a whole lot more,” said Trump, who lost the case. “I did it to make his life miserable, which I’m happy about.”

That’s exactly the point of the anti-SLAPP fight, say supporters of the effort to limit the litigation.

“It’s a bullying tactic,” said Evan Mascagni, a New York City-based attorney and the policy director of the Public Participation Project, which is pushing for federal anti-SLAPP legislation. “They use it to silence and harass their critics, largely because they have deeper pockets than their critics do.”

Read more here.