The Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage (SPEECH) Act is a bill passed by the 111th United States Congress (H.R.2765, S.3518) that makes foreign libel judgments unenforceable in the United States unless they are compliant with the US First Amendment. The bill is a response to libel tourism and creates a new cause of action against the foreign libel plaintiff and provide for damages if the foreign plaintiff acted to deprive an American of his or her right to free speech.[1] It was inspired by the legal battle that ensued between Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld and Saudi businessman Khalid bin Mahfouz over her 2003 book, Funding Evil.[2] In a rare event, the bill was passed unanimously in both the House of Representatives and the Senate before being signed by US President Barack Obama on August 10, 2010.[3]

The legislation has been endorsed by several US organizations including the American Library Association, the Association of American Publishers, the American Society of News Editors, and the ACLU.[4]

Previous billsEdit

The Free Speech Protection Act of 2008 and 2009 were previous bills introduced in the 110th and 111th United States Congress' aimed at addressing the topic of libel tourism, but neither of them passed.

See alsoEdit


  1. "Libel Tourism - Federal Bill".Media Law Resource Center. Retrieved 2010-08-11.
  2. Greenslade, Roy (2010-08-11)."Obama seals off US journalists and authors from Britain's libel laws". The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-08-11.
  3. Meisel, Aylana (2010-08-03). "Congress Unites to Pass Bill Protecting American Authors and Publishers" The Cutting Edge News. Retrieved 2010-08-11.
  4. American Center for Democracy (2010-07-28). "U.S. Congress Passes Historic SPEECH Act". Right Side News. Retrieved 2010-08-11

External linksEdit

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