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ACLU Petitions Supreme Court To Overturn Arkansas BDS Law

Allan C. Brownfeld, Editor
Special Interest Report
December 2022

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court  
over an Arkansas law that prohibits companies from boycotting Israel.  
The ACLU is acting in behalf of the Arkansas Times, a weekly alternative paper  
based in Little Rock. In 2017, Arkansas passed legislation targeting the  
boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS) effort that aims to hold Israel  
accountable to its obligations under international law. In 2018, the University  
of Arkansas’s Pulaski Technical College informed the paper that it would have to  
sign a pledge not to boycott Israel if they wanted to maintain their advertising  
contract with school. Alan Leverett declined to sign the document and sued the  
state over the law.  
In June, the eighth circuit court of appeals upheld the law. Alan Leverett  
states that, “The Arkansas Times…is not boycotting anyone. However, we object  
to the state requiring us to take a political position on behalf of a foreign  
government in order to receive advertising from our local government. As  
Americans it is our right to boycott or not boycott anyone, we please…Going back  
to the Boston Tea Party, the Montgomery bus boycott to the South Africa anti-  
apartheid boycotts, choosing to vote with your dollars is as American as voting  
with our ballots.” The Supreme Court will decide whether to review the Arkansas  
case during this term. **

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