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My USA Today piece: make Anti-SLAPP rules the norm

The editorial board of USA Today comes out in favor of Anti-SLAPP laws, which make it harder to sue when First Amendment values of free speech or petitioning the government are potentially chilled. (SLAPP is an acronym for "strategic lawsuits against public participation.") I agree, but in a short response piece I argue that the Anti-SLAPP rules should be the norm rather than the exception.

Strong-form Anti-SLAPP laws, like California's, limit speech-infringing litigation in two primary ways: first, discovery is stayed unless plaintiffs can show a likelihood of success on the merits; and second, prevailing defendants are allowed to recover attorney's fees and costs. As I note in my piece, these rules are the exception in the U.S. but the norm in almost all of the rest of the world.

Thanks to our editor, Ted Frank, for discussions on this topic that helped to inform my piece. Any errors in the piece are of course my own.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.