The top law officers for nine states have signed onto a legal brief filed Tuesday supporting Arkansas Act 710, a 2017 state law that added a pledge to not boycott Israel as a part of many business contracts with the state.
The Arkansas anti-boycott law has been challenged in a lawsuit by the Arkansas Times. The Little Rock-based news organization, represented by attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union, claims the law violates free speech protections that are a part of the U.S. Constitution. The Arkansas Times is appealing an order by a federal district court judge dismissing the lawsuit.
The brief, submitted by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, describes the Arkansas law as an anti-discrimination measure. The states signed onto the filing "all have a compelling interest in preventing invidious discrimination," according to the brief filed in the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
More than two dozen states have filed similar anti-Israel boycott legislation, according to the brief, including Arizona, whose law was temporarily blocked in 2018 following an ACLU legal challenge.
Each of the states signed onto to brief are represented by Republican attorneys general, although Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt was appointed to the position after earlier serving as a Republican in the state's legislature.
The states participating in the brief are: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.