Friday, January 25, 2019

Arkansas Anti-Israel Boycott Law Upheld

In Arkansas Times  LP v. Waldrip, (ED AR, Jan. 23, 2019), an Arkansas federal district court dismissed a challenge to Arkansas' Act 710 which requires companies doing business with the state to certify that they are not boycotting Israel.  Plaintiff claimed that the law compels speech regarding contractors’ political beliefs, association, and expression, and restricts state contractors from engaging in boycotts and boycott-related speech in violation of the 1st Amendment. The court rejected these arguments, holding:
A boycott of Israel, as defined by Act 710, is neither speech nor inherently expressive conduct.
The court went on to hold that prior U.S. Supreme Court precedents do not "create an unqualified right to engage in political boycotts."  AP reports on the decision. [Thanks to Steven H. Sholk for the lead.]