We Need to Start Pushing for Better Anti-SLAPP Legislation

This National Day of Blogger Silence is driving me nuts. But this post is about the whole Kimberlin saga, and what can be done to stop his lawfare against bloggers and journalists who dare write about him.

I was reading the Popehat blog, and came across a post describing SLAPP lawsuits, which is one way Brett Kimberlin harasses his targets. Be sure to read it all, it’s too much for me to try to summarize. Anyway, California has decent anti-SLAPP legislation in place to protect the speech of bloggers and writers. I thought I’d check and see where my state stands, and it’s not very good. New York has anti-SLAPP legislation, but it only protect speech about public permits, and that sort of thing. It doesn’t protect other types of speech. You can check your state’s status at the Public Participation Project.

I don’t know if anti-SLAPP legislation is something that can be done at the federal level. Freedom of speech is protected in the Constitution, so why not? I’m not a lawyer, so I can’t answer that question, but it’s something you may want to take up with your representatives. It’s also something we can call on our state legislatures to take up.

Update: Fausta has a roundup.

Update: Linked by Blogsense By Barb – thanks!