Jul 14, 2022
Last month a US court of appeals upheld an Arkansas law that prohibits state contractors from boycotting Israel.
The 9-1 decision reversed a previous ruling that determined the law was unconstitutional. Despite the fact that over 30 states have adopted similar laws, it was the first full federal appeals court ruling on the subject. The decision was written by Judge Jonathan Kobes, a Trump appointee the American Bar Association rated as unqualified when he was nominated.
The Arkansas story dates back to 2018 when a local paper, the Arkansas Times, refused to sign a pledge promising to refrain from boycotting Israel in order to obtain an advertising contract with a public university. The paper’s publisher, Alan Leveritt, sued the state over the law. He was represented by the ACLU. Leveritt has said he’s not a supporter of BDS, but launched the complaint over First Amendment concerns.
U.S. correspondent Michael Arria spoke with Amal Thabateh, the Michael Ratner Justice Fellow at Palestine Legal about the ruling and its potential legal impact going forward.
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