PHOENIX -- Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is co-leading an amicus brief with Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge at the 5th Circuit supporting a Texas law that discourages boycotts against Israel. Specifically, the legal brief calls on the Court to reverse the lower court's decision that stopped the Texas Anti-Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (Anti-BDS) law from going into effect.
The district court wrongly decided that the anti-discrimination law prevents the Plaintiff (A & R Engineering and Testing, Inc, a for-profit engineering services business) from exercising its First Amendment rights. The district court also incorrectly concluded the law is not a valid anti-discrimination measure and granted A & R’s motion for Preliminary Injunction.
The amicus brief asks the appellate court to overturn the district court's erroneous interpretation of the law. The brief also asserts that there is a compelling interest in State Anti-BDS laws in order to prevent discrimination against Israel and secondary discrimination against those doing business with Israel.
The amicus brief highlights that, in addition to Texas, at least 32 states, including Arizona, have enacted similar statutes or executive orders that are currently in place. The district court’s judgment puts all of these laws in jeopardy if the 5th Circuit does not overrule the district court’s decision. Arizona's Anti-BDS law was passed and signed into law in 2016.
Anti-BDS laws play an important role in preventing discrimination. Anti-discrimination measures are consistently upheld against First Amendment challenges, and this case should be no different. AG Brnovich will continue to fight for state laws that protect Israel from unfair discrimination.
Joining General Brnovich and General Rutledge are the Attorneys General of Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia, Utah, and West Virginia.
Copy of amicus brief here.