Arkansas Newspaper Sues Over No-Boycott Pledge For Vendors

Dec 11, 2018

Alan Leveritt, publisher of the Arkansas Times, says he was disturbed by the conditions of a pledge not to boycott Israel.
Credit Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

An Arkansas newspaper is asking a federal judge to strike down a state law that requires government contractors to pledge to not boycott Israel or reduce their fees by 20 percent.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas challenged the law on Tuesday on behalf of the Arkansas Times LP, which says the University of Arkansas Pulaski Technical College refused to contract for advertising with the newspaper unless the Arkansas Times signed the pledge. The lawsuit argues the requirement violates the U.S. Constitution.

According to the lawsuit, Arkansas Times had previously contracted for years with the technical college.

The Arkansas law is similar to restrictions enacted in several other states. A federal judge in September blocked Arizona from enforcing a similar measure.