The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) — at one time the nation’s premiere civil rights organization — has falsely characterized legislation that would penalize companies that boycott Israel as limiting free speech.
A letter posted on the organization’s website claimed that the bipartisan Congressional legislation, which supports state laws barring contracts with businesses that boycott Israel, “flies in the face of the First Amendment’s guarantee that the state should impose no law infringing on the right to speak freely and to associate with those of like mind.”
Commercial conduct, however, is not speech.
As legal expert Eugene Kontrovich observed in July 2017, the proposed legislation is nothing more than an updating of existing legislation that prohibited American companies from participating in the Arab boycotts of Israel that dates back to the 1970s. That’s an inconvenient fact for opponents of the legislation, who also fail to mention that the original Arab boycott provisions were upheld against several First Amendment challenges.