Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sign the bill, Governor

Both parties agree. The Wall Street Journal and the Albany Times Union agree. New York Governor Paterson must sign the libel bill before him to insure that New Yorkers' First Amendment rights are protected from foreign libel courts.

The inspiration for the bill is the case of Rachel Ehrenfeld, who has been sued for libel in an English court. Ehrenfeld named Khalid Bin Mahfouz as a possible funder of terrorism in her book Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Funded and How to Stop It. Bin Mahfouz sued, in England, and won $225,000. The new bill would make these judgments unenforceable in New York. (Hard to believe that they are at the moment, no?)

The Governor has until the end of the day to sign the bill, passed unanimously in both houses of the state legislature.