For nearly seven years, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has managed to avoid answering a vital First Amendment question: Can Texas’ Anti-SLAPP statute be used to defeat defamation claims filed in federal courts?

The case that may force the Fifth Circuit to answer that question involves an attempt to use the statute to defeat a $100 million federal lawsuit filed by a Texas attorney claiming he was fired from a law firm because of internet postings accusing him of being a “Nazi” and a “white supremacist.”

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