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Natalie Harris to Argue Anti-SLAPP Motion on Behalf of Campaign-Flyer Publisher

July 2019

BHH’s Natalie Harris will argue anti-SLAPP motion on behalf of a campaign-flyer publisher in McHenry County later this summer.

Two former McHenry County Board candidates filed a defamation suit arising from a series of political flyers published by the Illinois Integrity Fund in the run-up to the March 2018 Republican primary election. The flyers re-published newspaper excerpts reporting on one of the candidate’s 1975 grand jury testimony in which he admitted to committing illegal acts including spying and burglary in the late 1960s and early 1970s as a member of the right-wing paramilitary organization Legion of Justice. 

The flyers also re-published another headline tying a death threat against the McHenry County Board chairman to Schuster’s home. The candidates alleged that the flyer statements were false.

On behalf of the Illinois Integrity Fund, Natalie filed an anti-SLAPP motion pursuant to the Illinois Citizen Participation Act asserting that the official documents – including the grand jury transcript and a local police report – demonstrated that the flyer statements were true. 

The motion asserted that the candidates’ complaints were meritless and retaliatory and were filed to punish the Illinois Integrity Fund for publishing political speech protected by the First Amendment. Oral argument is scheduled for August 16, 2019.

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