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Little known policy reform protecting protest rights and other expression

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Unread 07.16.20, 06:46 AM
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Little known policy reform protecting protest rights and other expression

07.16.20 05:20 AM

Of the rights enumerated in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, perhaps none is as widely recognized by Americans as freedom of speech.*A recent Freedom Forum survey*found that 64 percent name it as one of the five rights listed in the First Amendment*ó*a far higher percentage than can identify the others. But restraints on freedom of speech donít always come from government. In fact, one of the ways it is stifled is through intimidation by frivolous lawsuits, or the threat of lawsuits. When some Americans want to silence others keep others silent, they often file what are called strategic lawsuits against public participation suits. The goal isnít to prevail in court but to intimidate and silence by making litigation costly and time consuming. All but 17 states offer some form of legal protection against such suits. But more must be done. Billy Easley of Americans for Prosperity explains*in a*Morning Consult op-ed that SLAPP suits affect far more people than is commonly realized: Didnít like the service you got at a local restaurant and said so online? Restaurant owners have threatened defamation suits against customers who say negative things about them on review sites. Want to speak out against encroaching development […]

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