Five Years of Anti-SLAPP in Texas

June 23, 2016

On June 17, 2011, the Texas Citizens Participation Act was signed into law by then Governor Rick Perry, a watershed moment that provided greater protection to Texas citizens who have been plagued with frivolous lawsuits aimed at stymieing their ability to discuss their opinions, report on governmental activities or uncover corporate wrongdoing. HB 2973/SB 1565 was filed by State Rep. Todd Hunter (R – Corpus Christi) and Sen. Rodney Ellis (D- Houston) and Sen. Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler). The bill was passed out of both chambers unanimously making it effective immediately upon the Governor’s signature. Passed unanimously by the Texas Senate and House and known as the Texas Anti-SLAPP statute, the law protects citizens (whether they are individuals, businesses, media organizations, political candidates) who exercise their First Amendment rights from meritless claims aimed at silencing them, subjecting them to paying expensive attorneys’ fees and defending against exhaustive legal proceedings.

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