Catholic University Law Review


In recent years, lawsuits known as Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, or SLAPPs, have become increasingly common. These suits seek to intimidate and punish people for exercising their First Amendment rights. In response to SLAPPs, over half of the states have enacted anti-SLAPP statutes to protect the targets of SLAPPs. They do so by providing a mechanism for the target to dismiss the lawsuit more quickly than they would normally be able to. In federal courts, the question has arisen as to whether anti-SLAPP statutes should be applied in diversity suits given their close alignment to Federal Rules 8, 12, and 56. This question has resulted in a circuit split. Tracing the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence on state rules that conflict with Federal Rules and applying it to the current circuit split, this Comment analyzes this question and proposes two methods for balancing the protection of First Amendment rights in federal court and preserving the system that the Federal Rules create.