Free Press Act of 2012
On August 2, 2012, Senator Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) introduced the “Free Press Act of 2012” in the Senate (S.3493) to “protect first amendment rights of journalists and internet service providers by preventing States and the United States from allowing meritless lawsuits arising from acts in furtherance of those rights, commonly called `Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation’ or `SLAPPs’, and for other purposes.”
While the Public Participation Project applauds Senator Kyl’s efforts to enact federal anti-SLAPP legislation before he retires at the end of this term, PPP does not endorse this bill because of its narrow scope. Essentially, the bill has two components – a very narrow anti-SLAPP provision that only applies to representatives of the news media, and a broader special motion to quash subpoenas for personally identifying information in connection with a claim arising from statements on a matter of public concern or that relate to a public official or public figure.
PPP believes that strong federal anti-SLAPP legislation is needed to protect all Americans, not just the news media. PPP hopes Senator Kyl’s bill can be a starting point to build bi-partisan support for strong and robust federal anti-SLAPP legislation.
You can read a copy of the Free Press Act of 2012 here: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:S.3493:
Feel free to contact PPP if you have any questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 202-664-3796.