The US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has dismissed a lawsuit challenging a Texas law banning government contractors from participating in and/or doing business with companies involved in the international Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) economic campaign against the State of Israel.
The A&R Engineering firm had challenged the law, which prohibits state contractors from complying with the BDS movement.
In its ruling, the court removed an injunction against the anti-boycott law approved by the lower court, due to jurisdictional issues.
The Israeli-American Coalition for Action (IAC for Action) applauded the ruling.
Thirty-seven states across America have passed anti-BDS laws, which target unlawful commercial discrimination against the State of Israel, protect US-based companies doing business with and in Israel, and prevent the use of taxpayer money to promote national origin discrimination.
“We applaud the citizens and government of Texas for fighting to uphold the state’s refusal to contract or invest with parties engaging in commercial discrimination against Israel,” said IAC For Action Chairman Shawn Evenhaim. “We also commend the Texas Attorney General’s office, Solicitor General Judd Stone, and Solicitor Eric Hamilton for their hard work on this case.”
A&R claimed a First Amendment right to receive state contracts while refusing to comply with a state non-discrimination certification requirement that local businesses refrain from economic discrimination against Israel or against companies doing business with Israel.
The anti-BDS nondiscrimination clause is similar in concept to various state contract clauses that require nondiscrimination on the basis of gender, race, religion, national origin and veteran status.
“The truth is that Anti-BDS laws are narrowly tailored, anti-discrimination laws, similar to many other anti-discrimination laws that protect, among other categories of people, women, racial minorities and LGBTQ individuals, said IAC for Action executive director Joseph Sabag.
“We are prepared to continue our vigorous efforts in this case should the plaintiff appeal to the Supreme Court, which recently rejected such an appeal from the 8th Circuit.”