Trump-Inspired Law Makes It Tougher To Limit First Amendment Rights
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law Tuesday a measure that tries to deter frivolous lawsuits meant to intimidate or suppress free speech.
These “strategic lawsuits against public participation” are known as SLAPP suits. The legislation expands current law to other forms of lawful First Amendment conduct that relates to an issue of public interest.
The New York City Democrats who sponsored the law say they were inspired by President Donald Trump’s alleged abuse of the civil justice system. They say his lawsuits have no chance of winning, but are meant to bully, harass or bankrupt his opponents.
The legislation bolsters a judge’s ability to dismiss such cases and require the litigant to cover the defendant’s legal fees.