After the CNN town hall Trump debacle, Jen Psaki and Julian Castro pointed out that Biden is no shoo-in for 2024. Yet another Texas bill is threatening our freedom.
Yes, Trump could win.
Jen Psaki points out that Trump’s CNN town hall must be a wake-up call for Democrats.
Jen Psaki reminded the audience that President Biden’s electoral win was slim. Trump’s performance, however vile, and the crowd’s reaction made it clear he could still win. [More]
Julian Castro is not as confident as the Democratic Establishment that Biden can beat Trump.
Many share the same sentiment that Julian Castro articulates here. It is best that this is addressed now because it could bite us when we have no recourse. [More]
The road to fascism continues in the Texas Legislature with SB896.
It was not enough to create bills to attack voting in Democratic counties. It was not enough to kill gun control bills that more than 80% of Americans want. Now the Texas Legislature is coming after your free speech. The Tribune reported the following.
A state House committee on Wednesday voted to move forward with a proposed change to the way Texas protects news organizations and individual people from certain frivolous lawsuits, drawing fears from advocates that a critical free speech protection could soon be weakened.
Senate Bill 896 would revise the 2011 Texas Citizens Participation Act, known as the anti-SLAPP law, which is designed to protect people and companies from lawsuits aimed at intimidating or punishing them for exercising their First Amendment rights. The idea behind the 2011 law was that even a baseless lawsuit targeting speech a plaintiff doesn’t like — known as a strategic lawsuit against public participation, or a SLAPP — could inflict major damage because it can take years and thousands of dollars or more in legal expenses to get them thrown out.
Currently, the target of a SLAPP lawsuit can file a motion to dismiss the suit and if the trial court judge denies the motion, the defendant may file an immediate appeal — and the case is stayed while an appeals court takes it under consideration.
The version of SB 896 advanced Wednesday in the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee would remove that automatic stay from state law if a judge finds that the motion to dismiss is frivolous or was filed with the sole purpose of delaying a case. In those circumstances, a stay would expire after 45 days. A version of the measure sailed through the Senate in March before the House committee approved a newer version in a 6-3 vote on Wednesday.
Some powerful business groups in Texas have pushed for the bill, arguing that the anti-SLAPP law can be improperly applied to lawsuits that have nothing to do with free speech. Shahmeer Halepota, a Houston civil lawyer, told the House committee last month about a case in which he represented a developer who was locked in a lawsuit with a contractor during an apartment construction project. The contractor filed an anti-SLAPP motion and successfully froze the case a month before trial. An appeals court later found the motion frivolous, he said, but the delays cost his developer client millions of dollars.
“This is a perfect example where a shield has become an abusive sword,” the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jeff Leach, R-Plano, said during the hearing.
But free speech advocates, media companies and advocacy groups across the political spectrum have warned of dire potential consequences if the bill is passed as currently written. Judges frequently make mistakes, they said, and many SLAPP cases are thrown out by appeals courts. Without the automatic stay, those cases can become extremely expensive before they’re dismissed.
We cannot allow this to continue. We must vote these guys out. Every vote makes a difference.
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