Fourteen news and public-interest groups added their names to the amicus brief filed Monday by the American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation’s Capital in the matter of Daniel M. Snyder vs. Creative Loafing, Inc., et al. — better known as the defamation lawsuit filed by the owner of the Washington Redskins against Washington City Paper and writer Dave McKenna.
National Public Radio, Politico, Public Citizen, the American Society of News Editors, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, Allbritton Communications Company (WJLA-TV 7) and WUSA-TV (Channel 9) are among those urging the District Court to dismiss the suit. (Read the brief here.)
The friend-of-the-court brief argues that the Snyder lawsuit should be dismissed under D.C.s new Anti-SLAPP Act, which was enacted in December. SLAPPs (strategic lawsuit against public participation) are intended to censor, intimidate and silence critics by burdening them with costly litigation. D.C. Councilmember Mary M. Cheh, who co-sponsored the law, also joined the ACLU’s brief.