The District of Columbia today filed its brief in support of the constitutionality of the anti-SLAPP statute and in response to the attack on that legislation by the plaintiffs in the Dean v. NBC Universal case two months ago. (The District of Columbia had previously sought permission to intervene in the Dean case for the purpose of defending the statute’s constitutionality, which the Court granted on December 13).
Like the brief submitted by the DC Attorney General in the 3M v. Boulter case last month, the DC Attorney General’s brief in the Dean case argues that the plaintiffs are misreading the statute in making their argument. While the DC Council lacks authority to “enact any act, resolution, or rule with respect to any provision of Title 11,” the DC Attorney General acknowledges, that provision is limited to legislation that would “alter the jurisdiction or structure of the local courts” and, according to the brief, the anti-SLAPP statute does not do that. The DC Attorney General further argues that the provisions of the anti-SLAPP statute supplement, rather than supplant, established court rules, and thus pose no constitutional problem.