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!
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.
Below is contact information for the Senatorial Judiciary Committee, the Congressional Judiciary Committee, and Staff.
General Judiciary Committee – http://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