Split En Banc 8th Circ. Upholds Ark.'s Israel Boycott Ban

By Lauren Berg (June 22, 2022, 10:33 PM EDT) -- An Arkansas law prohibiting the state from contracting with companies that boycott Israel does not violate the First Amendment, a split en banc Eighth Circuit ruled Wednesday, reversing a split three-judge panel's decision after finding that the law affects only economic decisions, not protected free speech.

The en banc appellate majority reversed a 2-1 panel decision that revived the case brought by an alternative weekly newspaper, the Arkansas Times, saying Act 710 only prohibits economic decisions and does not prevent companies from engaging in public criticism of Israel or other protected political and free speech activities.

"It does not ban Arkansas...

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