DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 27: A perigee full moon, or supermoon, is seen during a total lunar eclipse behind The Colorado State Capitol building on September 27, 2015, in Denver, Colorado. The combination of a supermoon and total lunar eclipse last occurred in 1982 and will not happen again until 2033. (Photo by (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
DENVER (AP) — Colorado's Senate has passed a bill to protect citizens and news organizations from frivolous lawsuits intended to stifle First Amendment rights to free speech.
The bill creates an expedited process for a defendant to obtain a stay of such a lawsuit by arguing it's motivated by his or her exercise of free speech or for exercising their right to petition government.
A higher court can dismiss such a case. The bill also allows defendants to collect court costs and attorney's fees.
Nearly 30 U.S. states have similar laws curbing what are known as strategic lawsuits against public participation.
Democratic Reps. Lisa Cutter and Shannon Bird and Sen. Mike Foote sponsored the Colorado bill.
Friday is the last day of the 2019 legislative session.
Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.