Amicus brief filed in support of Arizona’s BDS law

The Zachor Legal Institute, a legal think-tank and advocacy group that combats BDS, filed the suit with the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
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The Arizona Capitol Museum building in Phoenix. Credit: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons.

An amicus brief was filed on Tuesday in support of 2016 Arizona anti-BDS law, which prohibits its governmental agencies from conducting business with contractors that partake in boycotting Israeli goods or services.

The Zachor Legal Institute, a legal think-tank and advocacy organization that combats BDS, filed the suit with the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Boycotts are an important way for people to collectively call for social change,” said attorney Mikkel Jordahl, who boycotts the Jewish state due to “Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories,” according to the ACLU. His firm provides support to organizations that support BDS.

However, “the law’s certification requirement prevents state contractors such as Jordahl’s firm from participating in these activities,” according to the ACLU.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the federal lawsuit, Jordhal v. Brnovich, last year, arguing the law violates the First Amendment. Mark Brnovich is Arizona’s Attorney General.

However, in addition to Zachor Legal, groups such as StandWithUs disagree with the ACLU.

“The Act does not constrain … expression of political views; it addresses non-expressive conduct not entitled to First Amendment protection,” said StandWithUs in a statement.

“Arizona lawmakers, like state officials across the country, recognize that the BDS campaign aims to single out Israel for punitive action and does not offer a path to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace,” said American Jewish Committee general counsel Marc Stern. “In fact, BDS movement leadership seeks and has actively promoted the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state.”

In September, the Arizona measure was overturned by a district court.

The state law “unquestionably burdens the protected expression of companies wishing to engage in such a boycott,” said U.S. District Court Judge Diane J. Humetewa.

Amicus brief filed in support of Arizona’s BDS law

The Zachor Legal Institute, a legal think-tank and advocacy group that combats BDS, filed the suit with the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
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