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Free speech victory in Texas: "A great day for the First Amendment"



A Texas developer sued Carla Main and Encounter Books, an author and publisher respectively of a book criticizing the eminent domain practices he used—as well as Richard Epstein, who had the audacity to blurb the book. Fortunately, Texas law has procedural protections for victims of SLAPP suits, including interlocutory appeal when the trial court denies summary judgment, and an appellate court found there was no libel to be had. (This case was key in prompting Texas to pass anti-SLAPP legislation.) But there are dozens of other states where those who criticize the rich face tremendous risk of meritless libel suits to shut down their free speech rights, demonstrating the need for federal anti-SLAPP legislation. [Olson; Sullum @ Reason; IJ; Reporters' Committee; Dallas Observer; D Magazine; Main v. Royall (Tex. App. Jul. 25, 2011) (h/t W.C.)]

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Isaac Gorodetski
Project Manager,
Center for Legal Policy at the
Manhattan Institute
igorodetski@manhattan-institute.org

Katherine Lazarski
Press Officer,
Manhattan Institute
klazarski@manhattan-institute.org

 

Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.