Federal court applies Texas anti-SLAPP statute for the first time, confirming it creates a substantive First Amendment right | Lexology
In a major boost to the Texas anti-strategic lawsuit against public participation (anti-SLAPP) statute, a federal court judge granted a South Texas television’s anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss, applying the state statute in federal court for the first time since its adoption in 2011.
U.S. District Court Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos of the Southern District of Texas dismissed the challenge to the anti-SLAPP statute and the argument that it was a procedural rule that conflicted with federal rules. Instead, Judge Ramos held the anti-SLAPP statute creates a significant substantive First Amendment right and should be applied in federal court. It is designed to prevent malicious or frivolous lawsuits that chill free speech.
The application of state SLAPP laws in Federal court still tends to be a bit kludgy, but here is another in a line of decisions continuing to apply the law.