As we suggested exactly one year ago today in Rachel's Law Passed in NY - Federal Law Still Needed, if ever there were a need for federal legislation, this seems a worthy situation. Yet no hint of protecting Americans, not even the many 'journalists' who shill for those who undermine our rights, from this administration. New York and Florida are now protected and a bill is pending in California.
TALLAHASSEE, FL - Representative Charles E. Van Zant (R-Keystone Heights) lauded the unanimous passage of House Bill (HB) 949 by the Florida House of Representatives. The measure relates to grounds for non-recognition of foreign defamation judgments. This legislation closely resembles a similar law that was passed nearly a year ago by the New York Legislature.
HB 949, like the law passed in New York, will help in the fight against a tactic known as "Libel Tourism" which results from defamation lawsuits filed against authors critical of individuals with known ties to terrorist organizations like al Qaeda and Hamas. The lawsuits have been finding their way into foreign courts. HB 949 will provide Florida courts with the ability not to recognize a foreign judgment, if that country's laws protecting free speech and the free press are not at least as protective as freedoms provided in the constitutions of Florida and United States.
"This bill protects all Floridians' fundamental right to the freedom of speech and press without fear of reprisal from foreign courts," said Representative Van Zant, the bill's sponsor. "Political speech is a right we as Americans and Floridians hold dear. This law will ensure that no Floridian will ever have to answer to terrorists as a result of their criticism of terrorism, or its enablers."
House Majority Leader, Adam Hasner (R-Boca Raton) [PICTURED] added, "This bill protects Floridians from having their right to free speech suppressed by those with radical ideologies. Foreign courts that do not place the same value on our constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech will no longer be used to intimidate Florida citizens."
The bill's companion, Senate Bill 1066, will be considered in the Senate Rules Committee before heading to the Senate floor for final passage.
Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld written statement - to the California State Senate Judiciary Committee:
Thank you, Senator Corbett, for initiating this important bill, and thank you, members of the Committee, for holding this hearing on Libel Tourism.
Libel Tourism is a pernicious and growing phenomenon whereby wealthy and corrupt terror financiers exploit plaintiff-friendly foreign libel laws and expansive Internet jurisdiction to silence American authors, producers and publishers. Ever since the attacks on America of September 11, 2001, foreign libel laws have become a potent weapon used by the forces of tyranny who seek to undermine our freedom. California's Libel Tourism Act can stop this invasive silencing of free speech and restore our liberty.
A free press is vital not only to our way of life, but also to protect the public by exposing those who do us evil. New York and Illinois have already enacted laws to protect their citizens from the scourge of Libel Tourism which threatens the free expression of the media everywhere.
Without the Libel Tourism Act, every creative enterprise produced in California is at risk of financial destruction at the hands of foreign predators. Thus, the State Legislature must protect California's writers, producers, and publishers to guarantee the "uninhibited, robust and wide-open" expression the First Amendment was designed to protect. I urge California's Legislature to pass the Libel Tourism Act without delay, and urge Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to sign it into law.