Can't help thinking that the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC last year has helped unleash a newly aggressive attitude in some of the business community that intends not to put up with any criticism of their ethical malpractice.
One nearby case in point is the SLAPP suit against citizens down in Weaverville protesting a proposed cement plant.
More such cases emerged today. A rising junior at Western Michigan University got his legally parked car towed from his place of residence by a local towing company, which already had, incidentally, a bad rating from the Better Business Bureau for just such illegal towings, and the student still had to pay $118 to get his car back, and he subsequently vented his anger and frustration by starting a Facebook group, "Kalamazoo Residents against T&J Towing," which quickly ballooned to 800 members with their own tales to share of towing abuse, for which offense the original student got slapped with a lawsuit by T&J Towing for "defamation."
To review: SLAPP = "strategic lawsuit against public participation."
These suits rarely succeed in court, but they achieve the "strategic" goal of the company. They completely drain the resources of the poor schlub who's been sued. And send a warning to others who might speak out.
Turns out there's legislation moving in the U.S. Congress to protect citizens' rights against SLAPP suits. Wonder how Madam Foxx will vote on it, if it ever gets a vote. She doesn't have a history of voting for anything other than business interests.