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Before Lynch, Chief Judge, Torruella and Howard, Circuit Judges.

LYNCH, Chief Judge. Pat Godin, the former principal of the Fort O’Brien Elementary School in Machiasport, Maine, brought suit against the Machiasport School Department Board of Directors (“Machiasport”) and School Union No. 134 in March 2009, alleging a violation of her due process rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. She also sued three individual school system employees who had separately stated in meetings with officials their views that Godin had acted abusively toward students at the school. Plaintiff brought state-law claims that these allegations were defamatory and led the school system to terminate her employment; the school system says her job was terminated due to budgetary shortfalls.

Many states have enacted special statutory protections for individuals, like the individual school system employees in this case, named as defendants as a result of the exercise of their constitutional rights to petition the government. These anti-”SLAPP” (“strategic litigation against public participation”) laws provide such defendants with procedural and substantive defenses meant to prevent meritless suits from imposing significant litigation costs and chilling protected speech. The two federal appellate courts that have addressed whether they must enforce these state anti-SLAPP statutes in federal proceedings have concluded that they must. See Henry v. Lake Charles Am. Press, LLC, 566 F.3d 164 (5th Cir. 2009); United States ex rel. Newsham v. Lockheed Missiles & Space Co., 190 F.3d 963 (9th Cir. 1999). See also Metabolife Int’l, Inc. v. Wornick, 264 F.3d 832, 845-47 (9th Cir. 2001) (limiting application of one anti-SLAPP provision where information was within exclusive control of the defendant). This question, here as it applies to Maine’s anti-SLAPP statute, is one of first impression for this court, and lies at the center of this appeal. We hold the Maine anti-SLAPP statute must be applied.

 
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