Victims' Rights Caucus

Speeches

CLICK HERE TO WATCH

Mr. Speaker, they say the truth will set you free. Well, maybe not. Now the truth may get you sued. Here is why.

The Staples Company fired an employee for lying on his expense account, and then sent a warning e-mail to all other employees on this action. The former employee sued, saying the company's actions were ``malicious and harmful.'' A Federal court in Massachusetts ruled with the employee, even though the statements were true.

Mr. Speaker, it has long been the law in this country that libel and slander only occur when the statement is false and malicious. But not anymore. So what is going to happen when the New York Times has a headline tomorrow morning saying "Bernie Madoff, Worst Thief in American History, Goes to Jail?" Even though that statement might be true, while old Bernie is in the big house, he may decide to sue, saying his reputation is ruined.

Mr. Speaker, the Constitution protects free speech and a free press. The Federal courts in Massachusetts were wrong to say that truthful speech is unlawful if it offends somebody or hurts their little feelings.

And that's just the way it is.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH