The Supreme Court’s landmark decision in New York Times v Sullivan was meant to protect our fundamental right to free speech from defamation lawsuits. However, Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, known as SLAPPs, continue to chill free speech through weak but expensive to defend defamation lawsuits. In response to SLAPPs many states have passed anti-SLAPP statutes that are meant to identify SLAPPs, quickly dismiss SLAPPs, and punish plaintiffs who bring SLAPPs. A difficult issue for federal courts throughout the country is whether these state anti-SLAPP statutes should apply in federal courts. This Note examines the Supreme Court opinions in Shady Grove Orthopedic Associates, PA v Allstate Insurance Co, as well as various lower court opinions, and concludes that state anti-SLAPP statutes should not apply in federal court until Congress creates a federal anti-SLAPP statute.
Toscano, Jack, SLAPPs Across America, Touro Law Review: volume 37: no 3, article 18 (2021).