The Orlando Sentinel reports:
State lawmakers are moving forward with a Gov. Ron DeSantis-inspired push to make it easier for prominent people to sue media outlets for defamation, setting the stage for a potential First Amendment clash in the courts. The Legislature is set to take up the measure that challenges longstanding protections for the press established by the U.S Supreme Court. The legislation proposes sweeping changes to Florida’s libel and defamation law.
It presumes information from anonymous sources to be false and removes protections that allow journalists to shield the identity of sources if they are sued. It limits the definition of who would qualify as a public figure. In another section of the bill, claiming that a person discriminated against someone based on their race, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity would be considered defamatory on its face.
Read the full article. Rep. Alex Andrade, the bill’s author, boasts in his Twitter bio that he is “Florida’s MAGA man.”
“Florida’s proposal could prompt a battle in the Legislature and, if passed, a constitutional challenge. Two U.S. Supreme Court justices — Clarence Thomas and Neil M. Gorsuch ― have called for reconsidering the Sullivan case.”https://t.co/EGEwzNQ1TU
— Florida House Democrats (@FLHouseDems) February 22, 2023