Judge Lets Arkansas Law Against Israeli Boycotts Stand

Jan 23, 2019

Arkansas Times Publisher Alan Leveritt
Credit Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

A federal judge has let stand an Arkansas law requiring contractors to pledge not to boycott Israel, ruling that such a boycott is not protected by the First Amendment.

U.S. District Judge Brian Miller on Wednesday dismissed the lawsuit the Arkansas Times had filed challenging the 2017 law. The newspaper had asked the judge to block the law, which requires contractors to reduce their fees by 20 percent if they don't sign the pledge.

The Times' lawsuit said the University of Arkansas Pulaski Technical College refused to contract for advertising with the newspaper unless the Arkansas Times signed the pledge. The paper isn't engaged in a boycott against Israel.

Miller wrote that refusing to purchase certain goods or from certain places is not protected free speech.