Next week, the House Judiciary Committee will finally hold a hearing on the SPEAK FREE Act (H.R. 2304), over a year after the bill was introduced in the Congress. We support the SPEAK FREE Act, which would help protect victims of strategic lawsuits against public participation, commonly known as SLAPPs.

A SLAPP is a technique that’s used to silence speech on the Internet and elsewhere, usually because that speech is embarrassing for the plaintiff. Plaintiffs who bring SLAPPs often aren’t interested in winning the case. Their goal is simply to silence their critics through the threat of time-consuming and expensive litigation. SLAPPs threaten the defendants’ freedom of expression, as well as everyone else’s right to hear diverse opinions and points of view.

We’re glad to see that the SPEAK FREE Act is still alive and gaining support. Supporters of the bill are asking SLAPP victims to sign a letter to the House Judiciary Committee. If you’ve been targeted with a SLAPP, your story could help open lawmakers’ eyes to this growing problem.