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The lawsuit dragged on for several months until Mr. Snyder dropped it before a court could rule on the newspaper’s request for dismissal under the District’s anti-SLAPP law.

Sen. Allan H. Kittleman, Howard Republican, said Maryland’s current law is just fine and that Mr. Frosh’s bill is unreasonably hard on well-meaning plaintiffs.

“It would put an undue burden upon somebody who is trying to defend themselves,” he said. “I think that everybody deserves their day in court and we shouldn’t be harming those who are trying to defend themselves.”