cartoon courtesy of Red Planet Cartoons

Please send this letter to your lists, and to the addresses below. This will support “Rachel’s Law” which is a very important bill to protect our first amenement for all writers, speakers, bloggers, and in the end, all of us against the threat of being sued in England by the Middle East.   This is THE ACTION OF THE DAY!

 
               Dear…


 
PLEASE SUPPORT THE FREE SPEECH PROTECTION ACT
( S-2977 & H.R. 5814), aka “Rachel’s Law, now before the Judiciary Committees in the House and Senate.

 

New York’s new law and the proposed federal legislation grew from the court battles of New York journalist and terrorism investigator, Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, whom a Saudi billionaire sued in Great Britain for Funding Evil; How Terrorism is Financed And How to Stop It—although she is American and her book sold here, not in the U.K. But plaintiff-friendly British libel laws have made London a mecca for libel tourists wishing to intimidate authors worldwide. The suit against Dr. Ehrenfeld—like 40 previous cases that silenced many other American and New York authors—is an obvious attempt to dilute First Amendment protections of free press, and prevent investigations of terror-financing.

English libel law is an international menace, a national disgrace, a pre-democratic anachronism. It defends crooks, terrorists and tyrants from investigation. It threatens the free speech of people all over the world and causes untold damage to the reputation of this country.”

 In a tremendous victory for free speech rights and to provide legal protections from “libel terrorism” to New York authors and publishers, “Rachel’s Law” adopted by the NY legislature and signed into law by Gov. David Patterson on April 30, 2008.


“We’ve supported Rachel Ehrenfeld in her court battles,” said Mrs. Schroeder. “Now we’d like to see the fight taken to another level with enactment of federal legislation.”  <http://www.publishers.org/main/PressCenter/FedLibelBillsRelease.htm>

The Free Speech Protection Act of 2008 ( S-2977 & H.R. 5814), was introduced by U.S. Rep. Pete King (R., N.Y.)   and co-sponsored by Rep. Anthony Weiner (D., N.Y.), and a Senate  companion bill by Senator Arlen Specter (R., PA) and Joseph Lieberman (I- CT). This legislation  builds on  New York State’s “Libel Terrorism Protection Act, ” aka “Rachel’s Law.”

 

note that the English Libel Laws threaten the “free-flowing marketplace of ideas” which “enables the ideals of democracy to defeat the totalitarian vision of al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations”. Free speech in the U.S. “is under sharp attack through foreign courts, where dozens of mendacious libel suits have intimidated and silenced American authors and U.S. publishers.”

“The new legislation would not shield  those who recklessly or maliciously  print false information. It  would ensure that Americans are held to and  protected by American  standards, “ wrote Senators Specter and Lieberman. The new  Free Speech Act bars U.S.  courts from enforcing libel  judgments issued in foreign courts  against U.S. residents, if the speech would  not be libelous under  American law. The bill also permits American authors and  publishers  to countersue if the material is protected by the First Amendment.   If a jury finds that the foreign suit is part of a scheme to  suppress free  speech rights, it may award  damages.

We need the Free Speech Act, and we urge you to support efforts to approve it and vote for its passage as soon as possible.
 
Sincerely,



 

Below is contact information for the Senatorial Judiciary Committee, the Congressional Judiciary Committee, and Staff.
 
General Judiciary Committeehttp://judiciary.house.gov/contact.aspx

Staff           Majority Communications Director Jonathan Godfrey – (202) 225-3951
            
Majority Press Secretary/Spokesperson  Melanie Roussell – (202) 225-3951
            Majority Staff Director/Chief Counsel  Perry Apelbaum – (202) 225-3951
            Minority Chief of Staff/General Counselor – (202) 226-0002
            Minority Communications Director  Kim Smith – (202) 225-6906
 
Senators on Committee

          NY Charles Schumer – http://schumer.senate.gov/SchumerWebsite/contact/webform.cfm
           Press Secretary Brian Fallon –  (202) 224-7433
 
            VT Patrick J. Leahy  – http://leahy.senate.gov/contact.cfm
           Press Secretary Erica Chabot – (202) 224-2154
 
            MA Edward Kennedy – http://kennedy.senate.gov/senator/contact.cfm
           Press Secretary Melissa Wagoner –  (202) 224-2633
 
            DE Joseph Biden – http://biden.senate.gov/services/contact/
           Press Secreatary Elizabeth Alexander – (202) 224-2154
 
            WI Herbert Kohl – http://kohl.senate.gov/gen_contact.html
           Press Secretary Lynn Becker –  (202) 224-2240
 
            WI Russ Feingold – http://feingold.senate.gov/contact_opinion.html
           Press Secretary Zach Lowe – (202) 224-8657
 
            CA Dianne Feinstein –             http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=ContactUs.EmailMe
           Press Secretary Scott Gerber – (202) 224-8657
 
            IL Richard Durbin – http://durbin.senate.gov/contact.cfm#contact
           Press Secretary Joe Shoemaker –  (202) 224-7028
 
            MD Benjamin Cardin – http://cardin.senate.gov/contact/
           Press Secretary Sue Walitsky –  (202) 224-7433
 
            RI Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse – http://whitehouse.senate.gov/contact.cfm
           Press Secretary Alex Swartsel –  (202) 224-7433
 
            PA Arlen Specter  –             http://specter.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.ContactForm
           Press Secretary Chris Gindlesperger – (202) 224-5225
 
            UT Orrin Hatch – http://hatch.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Offices.Contact
           Press Secretary Mark Eddington (202) 224-5251
 
            IA Charles Grassley – http://grassley.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.Home
           Press Secretary Beth Levine – (202) 224-6197
 
            AZ Jon Kyl – http://kyl.senate.gov/contact_form.cfm
           Press Secretary Andrew Wilder –  (202) 224-4521
 
            AL Jeff Sessions –   http://sessions.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=ConstituentServices.ContactMe
           Press Secretary Michael Brumas –  (202) 224-4124
 
            SC Lindsey Graham –    http://lgraham.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.EmailSenatorGraham
           Press Secretary Wes Hickman –  (202) 224-5972
 
            TX John Cornyn – http://cornyn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.ContactForm
           Press Secretary Brian Walsh –  (202) 224-2934
 
            KS Sam Brownback – http://brownback.senate.gov/CMEmailMe.cfm
           Press Secretary John Rankin –  (202) 224-6521
 
            OK Tom Coburn –             http://coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=ContactSenatorCoburn.Home
           Press Secretary John Hart – (202) 224-5754

 

 


 

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