2022-10-24 14:18:04

"Free Speech Issue”: Meet the Arkansas Publisher & Lawyer Asking SCOTUS to Overturn Anti-BDS Law

The ACLU is asking the Supreme Court to overturn an Arkansas anti-BDS law that penalizes state contractors unless they pledge not to boycott the state of Israel. Arkansas is one of more than 30 U.S. states to have passed "copycat" legislation to criminalize the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which seeks to boycott Israel and Israeli goods to protest its violation of Palestinian rights. The ACLU and other rights groups have argued the right to boycott is foundational to U.S. politics and protected free speech, and warn if the anti-BDS laws aren't challenged, Americans could lose their right to boycott fossil fuel companies, gun manufacturers and more. We speak with ACLU lawyer Brian Hauss and Alan Leveritt, publisher of The Arkansas Times and plaintiff in the ACLU lawsuit. "The state of Arkansas is requiring us to take a political position in return for advertising," says Leveritt, who calls his lawsuit "purely a First Amendment issue." We also speak with filmmaker Julia Bacha, who followed Leveritt's story in her documentary "Boycott," and says "it's critical to start asking our elected officials why they voted for these bills and what they actually mean."

Democracy Now! produces a daily, global, independent news hour hosted by award-winning journalists Amy Goodman and Juan González. Our reporting includes breaking daily news headlines and in-depth interviews with people on the front lines of the world’s most pressing issues. 

On DN!, you’ll hear a diversity of voices speaking for themselves, providing a unique and sometimes provocative perspective on global events.

Missed an episode?  Check out DN on FSTV VOD anytime or visit the show page for the latest clips.

#FreeSpeechTV is one of the last standing national, independent news networks committed to advancing progressive social change. 

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ACLU Alan Leveritt Arkansas anti-BDS law Brian Hauss criminalize the Boycott Democracy Now! Divestment and Sanctions movement Free Speech Issue

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