The New York State Legislature has unanimously passed Rachel's Law to protect American authors from foreign lawsuits that infringe on their First Amendment rights. The bill is named for the truly intrepid author Rachel Ehrenfeld, who, single-handedly, has fought for everyone's free speech against a Saudi billionaire who brought suit against her in Britain, where libel laws favor the plaintiff. You can read more about it here. And you can buy Funding Evil, Rachel's book the Saudis don't want you to read (too bad!!), here.
Earlier this afternoon, I asked Rachel whether this legislative victory meant she could start resting on her well-deserved laurels. Not hardly. She's got plenty of hard work still ahead. And first of all, she writes, NY Governor Paterson needs to sign the bill. She continues:
As soon as that happens, my brilliant lawyer Dan Kornstein will head back to court, in hopes of winning the case. The Saudi is likely to appeal, and we may end up at the Supreme Court, affecting future freedom of speech in America.
Despite the difficulties, if this bill passed the NY legislature in 3 months,
there is still hope that with enough care and action, things can get better,
rather than worse.
If you would like to help Rachel Ehrenfeld's case along, there is information here.