First Amendment Clinic files amicus brief in ACLU v. Zeh

Friday, July 31, 2020

The First Amendment Clinic filed an amicus brief in the matter of ACLU v. Zeh requesting the Georgia Supreme Court to review a matter that can weaken First Amendment protections under Georgia’s anti-Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation statute (“anti-SLAPP”). Representing fellow amici curiae the University of Virginia School of Law's First Amendment Clinic and the Georgia First Amendment Foundation, the UGA First Amendment Clinic argues that the lower court in Zeh failed to apply the “actual malice” standard in deciding whether a defamation lawsuit survives a motion to strike under the anti-SLAPP statute. 

The UGA First Amendment Clinic further argues that, if allowed to stand, the lower court’s ruling unduly burdens speech and press rights with respect to public affairs that are intensely newsworthy and invites parties with little connection to Georgia to vindicate personal disputes by filing defamation cases that would elsewhere be dismissed under the "actual malice" standard.

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