Brandeis Center Statement on Supreme Court Action Letting Arkansas
Anti-BDS Law Stand
Washington, D.C., February 21: Kenneth L. Marcus, founder and chairman of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, issued the following statement today commending the U.S. Supreme Court’s action, which bolsters state laws that prohibit discriminatory boycotts of Israel:
“Today is a great day for the cause of justice. This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand an important appeals court victory for anti-BDS legislation and civil rights law by denying cert. in the Arkansas anti-BDS case, Arkansas Times LP v. Waldrip. In doing so, the Court put to rest the absurd notion that anti-BDS laws are incompatible with robust protections for the freedom of speech. Anti-Israel boycotts will now be seen for what they are: discriminatory conduct rather than political speech.
“Like many other states, Arkansas had commendably decided that its state’s taxpayers should not subsidize anti-Semitic boycotts of Israel through their government contracting process. When states prohibit discrimination against other groups, they must be consistent in preventing bias against the Jewish people. It is notable that, in this case, BDS supporters could not find even one justice — there were no dissenters — to support their discriminatory activities.
“The Louis D. Brandeis Center was pleased to support the State of Arkansas through its amicus work, just as we have fought BDS in higher education, corporate America, and most recently in the Ben & Jerry’s case. We will continue to fight against discriminatory BDS activities from the campus to the ice cream parlor, and from the boardroom to the U.S. Supreme Court.”
The Brandeis Center has been deeply involved in combatting discriminatory and anti-Semitic boycotts of Israel at the state, federal and international level. The organization submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on the Arkansas case, and most recently, as the attorneys representing Avi Zinger, successfully prevented Ben & Jerry’s from boycotting Israel.
The Louis D. Brandeis Center is an independent, non-partisan institution for public interest advocacy, research and education. The Center’s mission is to advance the civil and human rights of the Jewish people and to promote justice for all. The Center’s education, research and advocacy focus especially, but not exclusively, on the problems of anti-Semitism on college and university campuses.