Evan Mascagni column: Protecting free expression for Virginians: it’s common sense

(New anti-SLAPP law… in Virginia. Written in Jan. of 2017)

By Evan Mascagni, Richmond Times Dispatch

Perhaps no person in the history of American politics has framed the importance of advocating for individual liberties better than Thomas Paine, one of our nation’s Founding Fathers.

In his pamphlet, “Common Sense,” Paine made a clear and decisive argument that Americans must seek independence and pursue freedom.

“Man did not enter into society to become worse than he was before, not to have fewer rights than he had before,” Paine wrote, “but to have those rights better secured.”

Sen. Glen Sturtevant Jr. and Del. Terry Kilgore have introduced important legislation in Richmond to protect the free expression and speech of Virginians (SB 1413 and HB 1941, respectively), and they need the support of their colleagues to advance it without delay. Paine’s words resonate now more than ever. Virginia lawmakers have an opportunity to secure one of the most sacred rights: the right to freely express how you feel and say what you believe without fear of reprisal.

Without this critical piece of legislation, Virginians can be silenced through a legal mechanism known as strategic lawsuits against public participation (or “SLAPPs”)…

[read more here]

2 Responses

  1. Great find, Scott !
    Virginia now has anti-SLAPP laws and so does Florida.
    This law suit is trash.

  2. What Paine did not envision was that common sense was going to become the least common of all senses

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