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The court maintains anti-BDS law and invalidates previous decisions

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The Federal Court of Appeals in St. Louisupheld the Arkansas court's decision requiring contractors in all states to pledge not to boycott Israel. This ruling overturns a previous decision made last year by a committee of three judges in the same court. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

This decision publicly states that the anti-Israeli boycott, withdrawal of investment, and sanctions (BDS) movements include "a certificate that contractors do not" boycott "Israel." It occurs after the Arkansas Times sue in 2019, following the enactment of a 2017 state law requiring a contract. 

Arkansas Times claimed that the law violated itsFirst Amendment rights 

BDS was anti We support Israeli policy. Anti-BDS legislation, in which the government prohibits contracts or investment opportunities with companies that discriminate against individuals with Israeli relationships, is growing steadily across the country.

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A federal appeals court gave a victory to anti-BDS advocates by striking down an earlier court decision that claimed an Arkansas law was unconstitutional. 

The Federal Court of Appeals invalidates the previous court's decision alleging Arkansas. Brought victory to anti-BDS supporters. The law was unconstitutional.  (AP Photo / Craig Ruttle)

Eugene Kontorovich is an expert in international law and director of the Scalia Law School's Center for the Middle. .. International law of Eastand George Mason. 

"Progressive groups use fake constitutional arguments primarily as an excuse to protect the discriminatory treatment of Jewish groups," Kontrovic said. Said in a statement to Fox News Digital. "Embarrassed to publicly defend the BDS itself, they claimed to oppose such a law from the legal scruple. (Wednesday) the excuse was removed and Congress dismissed the federal anti-BDS law. You can confidently move forward to pass. " 

The law in question, Arkansaw Law 710, involves a company in any form ofboycott against Israel in the contract. Unless a certificate was included, state entities were prohibited from engaging in private companies. {50 According to the Associate Press, the law applies to contracts of $ 1,000 or more. 

The University of Arkansas Times and the University of Arkansas Pluskey Technical College had previously signed a contract for the Times to receive advertising revenue from the university. In 2018, the university asked the paper to sign a certificate that the paper was not involved in the anti-Israeli boycott. 

Still photo from a United States District courtroom. 

Still images from the US District Court.  (US District Court in Northern Illinois)

Arkansas Times publisher Alan Leveritt wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times. Defend his position.

"We do not take a political position in return for advertising," Leveritt writes. "I believe that if we sign the pledge, we will waive our right to freedom of conscience, and as journalists, we are under the First Amendment to the Constitution. It wouldn't deserve the protection given to us. "

Then Arkansas Timessued the university over anti-BDS accreditation, and the accreditation was the first amendment to the paper in two ways. Claimed to violate the rights of the Article. By contract and compelling speech.

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Times Injunction He appealed for an order and was subsequently dismissed. The court ruled that an economic boycott did not mean the First Amendment. This is because the First Amendment is neither speech nor an act of expression.

However, the decision was appealed and the Division Committee of the 8th Circuit ruled that thecertification requirements were unconstitutional 

{91. } A businessman signing an electronic contract. 

A businessman signing an electronic contract.  (iStock)

"Arkansas politicians penalize clients for refusing to participate in this ideological Litmus test. There was no business, "said Executive Director Holly Dixon. Of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas on behalf of the Arkansas Times during the incident. 

University of Arkansas-Pulaski Institute of Technologyclaims that the law deals only with expressive commercial decisions that do not fall under the First Amendment. Did. According to court documents, the standard rules of Arkansas statutory interpretation are consistent with the state's interpretation. 

The court finally ruled in favor of the university, and the Arkansas Supreme Court wrote that Law 710 was "prohibited from purely commercial and unexpressive conduct." rice field. 

"We are not aware of cases where the court has determined that the certification requirements for unprotected, non-discriminatory conduct are unconstitutionally enforced speech." Is writing.

Israeli flag flying over Jerusalem and the Temple Mount

The Israeli flag flying over Jerusalem and Temple Mount(iStock)

The Court of Appeals ruled that this finding did not prohibit the Arkansas Times from publicly criticizing or protesting the legislation. did. The legislation only banned the paper from enacting economic decisions that discriminate against Israel 

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The court has decided that the economic decision of the paper to outside observers is inherently invisible. He concluded that the law did not imply the first amendment of the Times. 

Other states, including Arkansas, Kansas, and Texas, have enacted measures similar to Arkansas law. They were also initially blocked and later enforced after the requirements were narrowed to apply to larger contracts.  

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"This is racism A clear victory over the scholars, the BDS movement says that such anti-boycott legislation never violates the first amendment, and the state seeks to engage in such racist and discriminatory boycotts of Israel. We emphasize that we have the legal right to refuse to do business with the entity, "Arsen Ostrovsky, CEO of the International Legal Forum, told FoxNews Digital.

Opponents of the law are expected to appeal the court's decision. This may mean the final hearing in theUS Supreme Court

The Associated Press contributed to this paper.

Haley Chi-Sing is a production assistant for FoxNews Digital. She can contact her on Twitter @haleychising.