MA Supports the Speak Free Act


As long-time advocates for civic engagement, public participation, whistleblower rights, and the right of principled dissent, we see the Speak Free Act as a needed corrective for a common form of abuse of the judicial system.

The federal law would be of significant value for defendants in the 22 states that do not have anti-SLAPP laws, allowing cases brought in state courts to be transferred to federal court. The proposed law also allows SLAPP defendants to retain their anonymity which in cases related to online communications can sometimes be an important matter for physical safety.  The proposed law awards attorneys fees for defendants when cases are found to be without merit, an important disincentive for harassment/intimidation motivations that sometimes cause the filing of SLAPP suits.

Anti-SLAPP legislation has been effective in California on a statewide basis and expanding it to the federal level sounds good to us.

Media Alliance supports the bill and asks Bay Area legislators to co-sponsor the bill in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

In this September 2016 op-ed in The Hill, R Street fellow Bill Godwin lays out a convincing case for the protection of on-line speech.

59 law professors and scholars signed the below letter in support of the Speak-Free Act of 2015.

Law Professor Letter in Support of SPEAK FREE Act (2)