Federal judge blocks enforcement of anti-Israel boycott law
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A federal judge has blocked enforcement of a Texas law that requires contractors to certify that they don't boycott Israel.
In a 56-page opinion filed Thursday, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman of Austin said boycotts are protected free speech, declaring the law fails to serve a compelling state interest.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas filed the federal suit in December against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and others. It argued the law forces people to choose between their First Amendment rights and their livelihoods.
Texas is among 25 states that has enacted similar bans on participation in the "boycott, divest and sanction Israel" movement against Israel's treatment of Palestinians. He said the statute "threatens 'to suppress unpopular ideas' and 'manipulate the public debate through coercion rather than persuasion."
Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
TCEQ: Controlled Burned in Edinburg Violarted State Code
Indian Hills Man Wants Abandoned Property Next Door Cleaned
2 McAllen Botched Robbery Suspects Sentenced to Prison
Cyber Expert Highlights Privacy Tips for Surveillance Camera Installation
Texas Civil Rights Project Alleges Zero Tolerance Policy Led to Man's Suicide