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Defamation, Libel Tourism and the Speech Act of 2010: The First Amendment Colliding ...

Chapter :  Introduction
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Defamation, Libel Tourism and the Speech Act of 2010:

Introduction

Rachel Ehrenfeld

On August 10, 2010, US president Barack Obama signed into law the Speech Act, which is the acronym for Securing the Protection of Our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage Act. With such a name, how could a president refuse to sign such a law unless he was prepared to repudiate Valley Forge, the Liberty Bell, Gettysburg, and even the Statue of Liberty? Yet, this law, which purports to protect American
writers and publishers from the evils of libel tourism, not only does nothing to further American interests but adds a new element of mischief and American unilateralism that will ultimately harm American interests. While this may seem like harsh commentary on untested legislation, the discussion on the following pages will attempt a persuasive case for just this point. The Speech Act has as its unambiguous goal the repudiation of foreign defamation judgments by American courts. Such blanket rejections are unwarranted because the Speech Act fails to appreciate
that some foreign defamation judgments should be enforceable in the