A federal judge struck down a 2016 Georgia state law banning state contracts with businesses or organizations supporting the BDS movement.
District Court Judge Mark Cohen ruled that that the ban is unconstitutional. “The requirement … that parties seeking to contract with the state of Georgia sign a certification that they are not engaged in a boycott of Israel also is unconstitutional compelled speech,” Cohen stated in his ruling.
The ruling was in response to a lawsuit brought by Abby Martin, a journalist who is outspoken about her anti-Israel and pro-BDS views, after Georgia Southern University withdrew an invitation for her to serve as a keynote speaker at a university conference because she wouldn’t sign the anti-BDS contract.
Martin’s case was backed by CAIR, J Street, the rabbinical human rights group T’ruah and the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown Law School.
“My First Amendment rights were restricted on behalf of a foreign government, which flies in the face of the principles of freedom and democracy,” Martin said.
A total of 35 states have passed anti-BDS legislation since 2015, according to a Jewish Virtual Library list.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)