Erie and the First Amendment: State Anti-SLAPP Laws in Federal Court After Shady Grove

By:  Colin Quinlan

 

An increasing number of states have passed laws aimed at preventing the costs of litigation from burdening legitimate petitioning activity. These laws frequently include procedural protections, such as a special motion to dismiss. When state law claims are instead brought in federal court, these laws and their procedural protections implicate the Erie doctrine and the Rules of Decision Act, which has led some federal courts not to apply these laws, or to apply them only in part. This Note concludes that federal courts, interpreting the Rules Enabling Act consistent with principles of federalism and the First Amendment, should apply in full state laws protecting the right to petition the government.

 

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