ITIF Testimony on Anti-SLAPP Legislation to Massachusetts Legislature

Each year, many Americans are sued or threatened with lawsuits simply for speaking out on issues they feel are important—whether they do so by posting an unsatisfactory review of a merchant or service provider online or by commenting in a public forum. This type of legal maneuver, called a strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP), effectively censors public speech by using the courts to intimidate critics. With no federal law in place, state law is the most important defense against these threats to free speech. In testimony to the Massachusetts legislature’s Joint Judiciary Committee, ITIF recommends moving forward on legislation that would bolster state anti-SLAPP laws.