Obama Signs 'Libel Tourism' Bill

August 11, 2010

President Obama signed into law on August 10, 2010, a bill (HR 2765, PL 111-223) protecting U.S. journalists and citizens against harsh overseas libel judgments.

"The SPEECH Act, which was sponsored by Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., prohibits U.S. courts from enforcing foreign libel judgments against U.S. defendants that are inconsistent with First Amendment protections," the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press said in a story. "The practice of filing lawsuits in a foreign country because it has more lax standards on libel is known as 'libel tourism.'"