From the Illinois Civil Code:
(735 ILCS 110/5)
Sec. 5. Public policy. Pursuant to the fundamental philosophy of the American constitutional form of government, it is declared to be the public policy of the State of Illinois that the constitutional rights of citizens and organizations to be involved and participate freely in the process of government must be encouraged and safeguarded with great diligence. The information, reports, opinions, claims, arguments, and other expressions provided by citizens are vital to effective law enforcement, the operation of government, the making of public policy and decisions, and the continuation of representative democracy. The laws, courts, and other agencies of this State must provide the utmost protection for the free exercise of these rights of petition, speech, association, and government participation.
Civil actions for money damages have been filed against citizens and organizations of this State as a result of their valid exercise of their constitutional rights to petition, speak freely, associate freely, and otherwise participate in and communicate with government. There has been a disturbing increase in lawsuits termed “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation” in government or “SLAPPs” as they are popularly called.
The threat of SLAPPs significantly chills and diminishes citizen participation in government, voluntary public service, and the exercise of these important constitutional rights. This abuse of the judicial process can and has been used as a means of intimidating, harassing, or punishing citizens and organizations for involving themselves in public affairs.