In America, the first amendment is alive and well

This week, the Supreme Court of Massachusetts ruled in favor of two people who stood up to Big Business.

Cherri Foytlin and Karen Savage wrote a blog post asking questions about a company they thought was too soft on Big Oil after the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill. That company – Cardno ChemRisk – sued them for defamation. The company lost and now must pay the legal fees.

These ladies’ victory is evidence that US citizens can win – even against corporate attorneys with fat wallets. should know. Because this same thing happened to the group not long ago.

You may recall spoofed the Army Corps of Engineers’ cozy relationship with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in a hilarious video.

These two powerful organizations weren’t accustomed to criticism. So, the ASCE threatened – then, just a fledgling grassroots group – with a defamation lawsuit if the group’s webmaster didn’t remove the offending 60-sec video from YouTube.

Attorneys with Coolley LLP of California and Adams and Reese of Louisiana provided pro bono help and determined ASCE could be financially liable for carrying out its threat to sue and silence won. The triumph is evidence that a little grassroots group can win – even in the face of powerful organizations with government connections.

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