Blake Farenthold

U.S. needs an anti-SLAPP law like California's

U.S. needs an anti-SLAPP law like California's

It's a sadly familiar sight in courthouses around the country: A deep-pocketed corporation, developer or government official files a lawsuit whose real purpose is to silence a critic, punish a whistleblower or win a commercial dispute. That's why California enacted a law in 1992 to give people a preemptive legal strike against frivolous lawsuits that seek to muzzle them on public issues. This sort of safeguard doesn't exist in almost two dozen other states or in federal law, unfortunately, but a group of tech-friendly lawmakers is trying to change that.

Although the lawsuits in question can assert many different types of claims, including defamation and unlawful interference, the...