The American Civil Liberties Union asked the Supreme Court this week to review a lower court’s ruling against boycotting Israel, arguing the restriction impedes on First Amendment rights.
The petition comes on behalf of the Arkansas Times, which is contesting an Arkansas state law that says government contractors must pledge not to boycott Israel or else they must reduce their fees by 20%.
The law defines boycotts of Israel to mean refusing to deal or engage in business activities with Israel or people associated with the country.
“This rule gives policymakers free rein to selectively penalize boycotts that express disfavored messages, as Arkansas did here. Because the law at issue here targets political boycotts on the basis of their anti-Israel content and viewpoint, it is more constitutionally suspect,” the petition filed Thursday read.
The full 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled against the paper, upholding the law.
It would take at least four justices to vote in favor of reviewing the appeal for oral arguments to be scheduled.
Progressive lawmakers like Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Michigan Democrat, and Rep. Ilhan Omar, Minnesota Democrat, have championed the BDS movement — “boycott, divestments, sanctions” — against Israel in favor of Palestine.