The Washington Post slogan, “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” originating from a Sixth Circuit Judge and then adopted by Post Watergate reporter Bob Woodward, encapsulates the need for accountability and quality journalism to maintain our freedom. Unfortunately, many people seek to punish accountability journalism. This “punishment” can sometimes take the form of costly and frivolous lawsuits called SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) suits. State anti-SLAPP laws give defendants an early motion to dismiss meritless claims, but unfortunately, the laws vary significantly among states and there is no federal anti-SLAPP law. However, there is currently federal legislation under consideration that would help discourage these frivolous lawsuits.
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