Conservative groups rail against GOP-sponsored defamation bill in Florida

Conservative groups and activists around the country are voicing their opposition to a bill before the Florida House that would make it easier to sue journalists and media outlets for defamation.

The main concern in Florida House Bill 757, introduced by state Rep. Alex Andrade, R-Pensacola, revolves around a measure that would lower the standards for defamation suits by creating a legal presumption that any news or media organization that publishes a story citing an anonymous source was acting with “actual malice.”

While Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been pushing for looser defamation laws in his second-term agenda, suggesting in February 2023 he wanted to make it easier to sue media companies, conservative-leaning broadcasters in the state and their supporters across the U.S. are concerned about what impact the legislation could have on their realm of the media landscape.

While certain Republicans may think that they’re going to be suing and taking on The New York Times and The Washington Post, here’s the breaking news: liberal trial lawyers are going to have a field day with center-right media in the state of Florida,” Trey Radel, a conservative radio host in the state, told Fox News.

“Signing this into law will destroy conservative media in this state,” he added.

Even allies of former President Donald Trump, who also called for libel and defamation laws to be re-examined during his presidency, like longtime adviser Stephen Miller have been campaigning against the proposed bill, echoing the concerns shared by the likes of Radel and the NRB about the possible double-edged consequences of the HB 757’s passage.

If Florida passes the proposed law to lower the standard for defamation, expect leftist plaintiffs lawyers to spend the next generation bankrupting every prominent conservative based in Florida,” Miller wrote on X, formerly Twitter.


Read the full article