Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, or SLAPP suits, as they are commonly called, are a growing nationwide phenomenon which imperil the protection afforded by the petition clause of the first amendment to the United States Constitution. These suits also implicate fundamental freedom guarantees of the various state constitutions. My focus today, however, will be largely on the first amendment.
Ralph Michael Stein, SLAPP Suits: A Slap at the First Amendment, 7 Pace Envtl. L. Rev. 45 (1989), http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/227/.