Federal Court Rules In Favor Of Journalist Contesting Georgia’s Anti-BDS Law

We have been discussing the state laws requiring contractors and employees to swear that they do not support the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (“BDS”) movement against Israel. I have long maintained that the law is unconstitutional as a limitation of free speech and associational rights. This week, a court in Georgia became the latest to declare such laws unconstitutional. The case was brought by journalist Abby Martin who was denied a contract as a keynote speaker at Georgia Southern University due to her support of the BDS movement.  The opposition to these laws is not driven by the merits of the BDS movement or its opposition. Rather, the issue is the curtailment of political speech, including compelling official speech or viewpoints, as a condition for state employment.

In July 2019, Georgia Southern University (“GSU”) invited Martin to speak at the 2020 International Critical Media Literary Conference. Martin accepted the contract which called for the payment of a $1,000 honorarium as well as costs of travel and lodging. In fulfillment of its obligations under state law, GSU officials (and defendants in the lawsuit) sent her a contract with a clause stating “You certify that you are not currently engaged in, and agree for the duration of this agreement not to engage in, a boycott of Israel, as defined in O.C.G.A. Section 50-5-85.”

The clause references a state statutory mandate:

The state shall not enter into a contract with an individual or company if the contract is related to construction or the provision of services, supplies, or information technology unless the contract includes a written certification that such individual or company is not currently engaged in, and agrees for the duration of the contract not to engage in, a boycott of Israel. O.C.GA. § 50-5-85(b).

Under the law, the term “Boycott of Israel” means

engaging in refusals to deal with, terminating business activities with, or other actions that are intended to limit commercial relations with Israel or individuals or companies doing business in Israel or in Israeli controlled territories, when such actions are taken:  (A) In compliance or adherence to calls for a boycott of Israel other than those boycotts to which 50 U.S.C. App. Section 2407(c), as it existed on January 1, 2016, applies; or (B) In a manner that discriminates on the basis of nationality, national origin, religion, or other unreasonable basis that is not founded on a valid business reason. O.C.GA. § 50-5-85(a).

Martin responded truthfully on same day, stating: “I’m sure you know, a lot of my work advocates the boycott of Israel, and my new film features that call to action. I cannot sign any form promising not to boycott Israel.” She was then denied the contract.

In NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co. (1982), the Supreme Court addressed a boycott of white-owned businesses in Mississippi. The Supreme Court held that a state’s right to regulate economic activity “could not justify a complete prohibition against a nonviolent, politically motivated boycott.”

While he found in favor of dismissal for some of the defendants under qualified immunity precedent, U.S. District Court Judge Mark Cohen ruled for Martin on the core constitutional challenge. He found that:

Because O.C.G.A. § 50-5-85 discriminates based on the motive for engaging in a boycott against Israel, the certification requirement forces parties contracting with the state of Georgia to publicly assign a motive and speech element to what Defendants deem merely economic conduct. The certification that one is not engaged in a boycott of Israel is no different that requiring a person to espouse certain political beliefs or to engage in certain political associations. The Supreme Court has found similar requirements to be unconstitutional on their face.

Judge Cohen also found the language to be unconstitutionally vague under the Fourteenth Amendment:

Here, O.C.G.A. § 50-5-85’s inclusion of “other actions that are intended to limit commercial relations with Israel” makes the statute impermissibly vague. O.C.G.A. § 50-5-85. This phrase in particular may leave a reasonable individual to speculate as to what conduct is prohibited…Despite Defendants’ contentions to the contrary, the language in O.C.G.A. § 50-5- 85 makes it questionable whether Martin even would be permitted to speak publicly in support ofBDS Boycotts while she was engaged in any contract with the state of Georgia. Public speech which advocates for a boycott of Israel and calls on others to engage in BDS Boycotts could reasonably be interpreted as “actions that are intended to limit commercial relations with Israel.” O.C.G.A. 50-5-85-85(a).

Various states have passed these restrictive laws. Indeed, many countries have curtailed BDS protests. I was critical of France’s prosecution of BDS protesters.  Countries, including the United States, have barred entry to BDS supporters. In addition, we have faced these controversies on campuses, including on the George Washington University campus.

Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit on Feb. 12 ruled that an Arkansas anti-BDS law violates the First Amendment. That case also involved a media plaintiff. The Arkansas Times allowed that the University of Arkansas Pulaski Technical College required the paper to sign a pledge agreeing not to boycott Israel as part of an advertising contract.

In a 2-1 panel decision, the court also found that this was overly broad. In so ruling, the appellate court  reversed a January 2019 district court decision. The Court found that the state law could not be justified as a purely commercial or business regulation and that the law clearly curtailed expressive conduct or activities:

Considering the Act as a whole, we conclude that the term “other actions” in the definition of “boycott Israel” and “boycott of Israel” encompasses more than “commercial conduct” similar to refusing to deal or terminating business activities. Instead, the Act requires government contractors, as a condition of contracting with Arkansas, not to engage in economic refusals to deal with Israel and to limit their support and promotion of boycotts of Israel. As such, the Act restricts government contractors’ ability to participate in speech and other protected, boycott-associated activities recognized by the Supreme Court in Claiborne.

The Eighth Circuit relied not just on the text but the legislative history to show a sweeping bar on those who support the movement:

That the term “other actions” captures constitutionally protected activity is further supported by the Act’s codified legislative findings…Those findings state that Arkansas seeks to implement the policy of “examining a company’s promotion or compliance with unsanctioned boycotts, divestment from, or sanctions against Israel as part of its consideration in awarding grants and contracts.” Ark. Code Ann. § 25-1-501(6) (emphasis added). The findings further state that Arkansas “supports the divestment of state assets from companies that support or promote actions to boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel.” Id. (emphasis added). Thus, Arkansas seeks not only to avoid contracting with companies that refuse to do business with Israel. It also seeks to avoid contracting with anyone who supports or promotes such activity.

Courts in Arizona, Kansas and Texas have also ruled against these laws.

There are good-faith objections to the BDS movement. We can have that debate on our campuses and other forums without seeking to compel or limit speech. Barring employment or contracts on the basis of such views is simply another way of silencing opposing viewpoints. It is true that the BDS movement can itself be accused of barring speakers or contracts. However, pro-Israel activists and academics are protected under the very same constitutional principles.  Each side is afforded ample freedom in this country to engage each other and seek to convince the public on the merits of the controversy.

Judge Cohen is not supporting the BDS movement in supporting Martin’s constitutional rights.  He is drawing a bright line around the First Amendment to protect the speech of everyone. We can then continue to have a national debate (and hopefully a dialogue) on these underlying issues.

93 thoughts on “Federal Court Rules In Favor Of Journalist Contesting Georgia’s Anti-BDS Law”

  1. I responded in my way to your generalities and libel.

    Tell us Anonymous the Stupid do you get a signed consent before you touch a woman or have sex with her? That is the question on the table. Did you ever kiss one who didn’t expect it and wasn’t asking for it? You are an idiot. State your claim with proof . Skip your generalities, links, and your hiding behind the anonymous label.

    You are dishonest and a coward. You have made a fool of yourself again.

    Below was the response you linked to. You can take it and criticize it sentence by sentence, but you won’t. You don’t have the ability. You will have to make direct statements and stand up to be criticized.

    Like the claim of Trump obstruction in today’s column by Turley, Anonymous the Stupid, the left constructs all sorts of lies about Trump. That is what we expect from you. The left makes unfounded accusations that have mostly been disproven, and the rest have no proof. One of the accusations has led to the accuser having being sued and losing. She now has to pay Trump rather than the other way around. Her attorney now sits in jail. That is where you and people like you belong.

    “Trump has admitted to sexually assaulting women (grabbing women by their pussies without consent, kissing women without consent)”

    I assume you get a signed consent agreement before engaging in any touching or feeling of the same or opposite sex. Hopefully, though questionable in your case, you do not engage in similar activities with children.

    You make accusations that you cannot prove, yet you have seen proof of the opposite. That is what demonstrates sickness.

  2. “You seem to be referring to Stormy Daniels.”

    Yes, anonymous. You are the one making non-specific claims. In this case, you posted the same response in two different postings. I picked one name out to prove you wrong. I don’t need more because you hide what you say in generalizations. That permits me to choose whatever I wish and show how wrong you are.

    If you become more specific with the name and proof, I’ll become more specific as well. You won’t bother doing so because you cannot debate outside of generalities or quoting another’s work.

    You try to post below the radar so you can feel you have the ability to refute. You do not have enough knowledge to do so. Your second step is to post a LINK, again without the specifics necessary. You think that provides a counter, but it only provides the reader with amusement at your silliness.

    Finally, you post under anonymous so you can blame somebody else for your frequent mistakes, but you can’t. You are anonymous. You hide your errors under the table of a trickster. Once again, you have been exposed for making a fool of yourself.

  3. Then any law preventing the hiring of an openly racist person against blacks is illegal as well? Liberals would be horrified by that idea? BDS isnt much different than the clan

    1. You maliciously and erroneously conflate opinion with violence (Incidentally, do “racists” typically pick one color over all others to be “racist” against?).

      A racist person is a person with an opinion, which, in America, he is eminently free to enjoy.

      Tell me if you think this racist should be Drawn and Quartered:

  4. If you go to Google and search Emily Wilder you will have to go to page two to find her recent tweets. AP’s decision to fire her was not based on tweets she made in college but on her recent posts in favor of Palestine. At AP she is expected to be a reporter. If they wanted an opinion maker they could have hired Brian Stelter from CNN.

    1. For the record, the AP has not identified the social media statements that they objected to.

      She’s asked them to.
      Many other AP reporters have asked them to.
      Strange that you believe you know what they were, when the AP itself refuses to identify them.

  5. When was the last time that the AP has acted in favor of Republicans. If you can find a link please post it here. Not being a fan of the AP I can still appreciate their efforts to separate opinions from journalism.

  6. Emily Wilder was hired by the AP as a journalist not an opinion writer. Once the AP allows opinion by someone they have hired as a journalist their reputation as an unbiased journalistic organization disappears. If she wanted to be an opinion journalist she could have applied at CNN. She stepped up on her little soapbox and the AP took it away. Now she has the audacity to say she stands for principle. Hopefully she saved some soap from her little soapbox to wash the stains away.

    1. You don’t quote any opinion from her. You don’t quote what you consider her being on a soapbox.

      I doubt you can. It so much easier to suggest that she was on a soapbox without providing any actual evidence for it.

  7. Sevvy:

    “Look at what Florida governor Desantis just signed. A law forcing social media to carry politician’s messages or face a $250,000 a day fine.

    It also allows commenters to sue if they think they have been unfairly censored.”
    **********************************
    I did. Two great laws in furtherance of stemming the globalist takeover of our political system. I suppose you think politicians should be neutered by social media who should then remain immune to the justice system. Do see how warped you are? Do you understand the monster you permit to run amok? Imagine them censoring your guys like Creepy Joe or Nabob Nancy.

    I suppose we’ll hear your simplistic retort: “But they’re private businesses! Wah.” Yeah like Duke Power, State Farm Insurance and the New York Stock Exchange are “private businesses.” You regulate the powerful not their victims — unless you’re a Leftist, of course.

    Oh and you last bleat “I’m surprised Turley isn’t writing about this. Conservatives always seem to have a serious misunderstanding of what the first amendment really allows and doesn’t” is just hilarious on its face.

    1. Mespo, the law is unconstitutional. Not because it a private business. But because it’s about forcing someone to publish your speech regardless if it violates the policies that they created for everyone, not just politicians.

      It’a like forcing Fox News to put out a liberal politician’s messages on their network or face a fine. Would you be ok with that?

      What desantis signed into law is government compelling speech on Facebook and Twitter.

      “ I suppose you think politicians should be neutered by social media who should then remain immune to the justice system. Do see how warped you are? Do you understand the monster you permit to run amok? Imagine them censoring your guys like Creepy Joe or Nabob Nancy.”

      Politicians, like everyone else, signed an agreement to abide by their rules. If they break them they get booted out or at least have their messages deleted, because they agreed to those terms. It’s really simple.

      They willingly signed those agreements in order to have the privilege of posting their messages.

      DeSantis is forcing companies to break their own rules by threatening huge fines. That’s an infringement on THEIR 1st amendment rights. That’s why it’s unconstitutional.

      “ I suppose we’ll hear your simplistic retort: “But they’re private businesses! Wah.” Yeah like Duke Power, State Farm Insurance and the New York Stock Exchange are “private businesses.” You regulate the powerful not their victims — unless you’re a Leftist, of course.”

      Here’s where you show all of us why conservatives misunderstand.

      Duke power, State Farm insurance, the New York stock exchange CAN be regulated because they are regulating COMMODITIES and FINANCE not speech. You don’t have a constitutional right to have electricity, insurance, or stocks. But you so do have a constitutional right from government NOT infringing on your speech. Private companies CAN. Because they are NOT government entities. Get it.

      Desantis signed a law that is the equivalent of government forcing a cake baker to put a message on his cakes that he doesn’t agree with because it violates his own personal values.

      A cake baker is a private entity. Would you be ok with that?

      1. Sevvy:

        “It’a like forcing Fox News to put out a liberal politician’s messages on their network or face a fine. Would you be ok with that?”
        **************************
        Yes. It’s called the Fairness Doctrine and it was the law from 1949 until 1987. That, of course, was when we had the sense God gave a billy goat and the Supreme Court agreed in Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v. FCC (1969). Try to know your history before you comment on it.

        1. Mespo, “ Try to know your history before you comment on it.”

          I know my history. You do know that the fairness doctrine was deemed unconstitutional, right? So Desantis wanting to force private companies to carry a politician’s messages by threatening a fine is ok with you, by your own admission any commenter on Turley’s blog can sue Turley for being removed or having a post deleted.

          In effect you are completely ok with authoritarianism.

          1. Sevvy:

            “I know my history. You do know that the fairness doctrine was deemed unconstitutional, right?”
            *******************************
            Yeah, by the FCC but unless they snuck a change in the Constitution today, the FCC can’t overrule SCOTUS in Red Lion Broadcasting. Pro Tip: You can lie by what you leave out just like you can when you add something.

            Like I said, intellectually barren.

  8. Setting aside the First Amendment issue, I have a far more fundamental question about all of this: what is the interest of any state, including Georgia, to try to suppress anyone wanting to boycott Israel or products coming from Israel? Why would any individual state get involved in international politics in this manner? What’s in it for Georgia?

    1. Natacha,

      Good question. Fundamental one indeed. But, the Israeli lobby in capitol hill, and white house, is one of the strongest. Why ? Among others, “Christian Zionism” and Evangelism.

      Let me quote from Wikipedia(“Christian Zionism”):

      In the United States

      In 1818, President John Adams wrote, “I really wish the Jews again in Judea an independent nation”, and believed that they would gradually become Unitarian Christians.[53]

      In 1844, George Bush, a professor of Hebrew at New York University and the cousin of an ancestor of the Presidents Bush, published a book titled The Valley of Vision; or, The Dry Bones of Israel Revived. In it he denounced “the thralldom and oppression which has so long ground them (the Jews) to the dust,” and called for “elevating” the Jews “to a rank of honorable repute among the nations of the earth” by allowing restoring the Jews to the land of Israel where the bulk would be converted to Christianity.[54] This, according to Bush, would benefit not only the Jews, but all of mankind, forming a “link of communication” between humanity and God. “It will blaze in notoriety …”. “It will flash a splendid demonstration upon all kindreds and tongues of the truth.”[8]

      Herman Melville expressed the idea in a poem, “Clarel; A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land”:

      the Hebrew seers announce in time
      the return of Judah to her prime;
      Some Christians deemed it then at hand
      Here was an object. Up and On.
      With seed and tillage help renew –
      Help reinstate the Holy Land

      The tycoon William Eugene Blackstone was inspired by the conference to publish the book Jesus is Coming, which took up the restorationist cause, and also absolved the Jews of the need to convert to Christianity either before or after the return of the Messiah. His book was translated and published in Yiddish. On November 24–25, 1890, Blackstone organized the Conference on the Past, Present and Future of Israel at the First Methodist Episcopal Church in Chicago where participants included leaders of many Christian communities. Resolutions of sympathy for the oppressed Jews living in Russia were passed, but Blackstone was convinced that such resolutions—even though passed by prominent men—were insufficient. He advocated strongly for the resettlement of Jewish people in Palestine. In 1891 he lobbied President Benjamin Harrison for the restoration of the Jews, in a petition signed by 413 prominent Americans, that became known as the Blackstone Memorial.[55] The names included the US Chief Justice, Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee, and several other congressmen, Rockefeller, Morgan and famous industrialists.[55] It read, in part: “Why shall not the powers which under the treaty of Berlin, in 1878, gave Bulgaria to the Bulgarians and Servia to the Servians now give Palestine back to the Jews? … These provinces, as well as Romania, Montenegro, and Greece, were wrested from the Turks and given to their natural owners. Does not Palestine as rightfully belong to the Jews?”[56]

      Here:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Zionism

      This is one reason. Good one (see Trump and his total support, to the Israeli state). Others strategic (cooperation in security issues). Ideological (The only alleged democracy in the cruel middle east, as alleged often by Republicans) etc…

      1. Trump supported Israel, including moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem (a symbolic “in your face” act directed toward the Palestinian people, which Israel wanted) for one reason and one reason only, which is the same reason he does everything: to benefit him; primarily to get campaign contributions from wealthy Jews. Michael Cohen, his former attorney, who IS Jewish, has stated that Trump is a raging anti-Semite. That makes sense. He’s also a raging racist, misogynist and xenophobe.

        Regardless of the foregoing, it still doesn’t explain the interest of any one of 50 states in suppressing boycotts of Israel.

        1. Natacha, Trump must hate his Jewish daughter in law and he must hate his son who has converted to Judaism. Trumps promotion of normal relations between Arab nations and Israel must somehow be interpreted as anti semitism. If someone was an anti semite wouldn’t he encourage the Arab nations to stand against Israel rather than encouraging these nations to have normal relations with Israel? The flaw in your argument should naturally cause one to question your other opinions on racism, misogyny and xenophobia. Who really occupies a seat in the pew of hate in this scenario?

          1. LMAO that you think Ivanka is Trump’s “Jewish daughter in law” and that Kushner is “his son who has converted to Judaism.”

        2. Natacha,

          But I haven’t written nothing on the real mental motives of Trump. But, the connection with Evangelists, and the support of the latter of the Israeli state. And that is why among others, he (Trump)supports the Israeli state.

          Or, would you deny at first place, that Evangelists, are his utmost loyal base ?

          Read here for example:

          https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/feb/01/evangelicals-trump-policy-defeat-us-election-2020-christians

          The same concerning other Republicans, and that is part of the explanation.

          So, no part is incomprehensible here, with all due respect.

          Thanks

        3. Ah ves Trump is only supporting the velfy Jews to get their money. Just vate and see, Ven Natacha and her friends take over va vil put an end to Trump and confiscate all the velf of the Jews. Natacha says, after all don’t you know that the velfy Jews are a danger to our nation? What we have here is just a little occurrence of history repeating.

        4. So Natacha,

          Just for making my point clearer:

          Even if we assume, as you have argued, that Trump thinks of nothing, but himself and his self interest, then:

          That is why he supports the Israeli state, and would stands against BDS (as many Republicans all over the US):

          To satisfy his base. Utmost loyal base. The Evangelists.

          And the Evangelists, explains among others, why there is such legislation, all over the US (mainly in Republican states in fact) banning the BDS movement.

          Thanks

      2. So, seems you support anti-semite and Christophobic views. I can thus understand why you’d support BDS. Would you also then support ANY speaker speaking in these venues if they happen to hold pro-Trump views, hold pro-Israel views, and hold and post online anti-Critical Race Theory and anti-BLM/Antifa views? I bet you wouldn’t.

    2. Setting aside the First Amendment issue, I have a far more fundamental question about all of this:
      **************************
      “Setting aside that unpleasantness in your theater box this evening, how did you like the play, Mrs Lincoln?”

    3. Natacha, the state of Georgia actually ruled against the suppression of speech. The Georgia court is saying that the suppression of speech supporting BDS is unconstitutional. It seems that a jump to a conclusion to support an ingrained religious narrative is present in your comment. A more thorough reading would be appreciated.

  9. EUREKA!!!

    “…a court in Georgia became the latest to declare such laws unconstitutional.”

    – Professor Turley
    _______________

    The singular American failure was and continues to be the antithetical, usurping judicial branch, with emphasis on the anti-American Supreme Court.

    The entire communistic American welfare state is unconstitutional, and should have long ago been declared such, including but not limited to, affirmative action, quotas, welfare, food stamps, rent control, social services, forced busing, minimum wage, utility subsidies, WIC, TANF, SNAP, HAMP, HARP, TARP, Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Labor, Energy, Obamacare, Social Security, Social Security Disability, Social Security Supplemental Income, Medicare, Medicaid, “Fair Housing” laws, “Non-Discrimination” laws, etc.
    ____________________________________________________________

    “…courts…must…declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void.”

    “[A] limited Constitution … can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing … To deny this would be to affirm … that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.”

    – Alexander Hamilton
    __________________

    Article 1, Section 8, provides Congress the power to tax ONLY for “…general Welfare…,” omitting and, thereby, excluding any power to tax for individual or specific welfare, redistribution of wealth or charity. The same article provides Congress the power to regulate ONLY the value of money, the “flow” of commerce among states, and land and naval Forces. Additionally, the 5th Amendment right to private property is not qualified by the Constitution and is, therefore, absolute, allowing Congress no power to “claim or exercise dominion” over private property.
    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    “[Private property is] that dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in exclusion of every other individual.”

    – James Madison
    _______________

    Communism Is The Mortal Enemy

    Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto 59 years after the adoption of the Constitution because none of the principles of the Communist Manifesto were in the Constitution. Had the principles of the Communist Manifesto been in the Constitution, Karl Marx would have had no reason to write the Communist Manifesto. The principles of the Communist Manifesto were not in the Constitution then and the principles of the Communist Manifesto are not in the Constitution now.

      1. Judith pay little attention to how nasty Anonymous the Stupid is. That is his nature.

        You are entirely correct that Democrats are acting like fascists. Anonymous the Stupid doesn’t understand the meaning of the isms. He thought fascism was good for the little guy.

  10. Important issue and ruling.

    Just worth noting, that the judge has dismissed the damages sought by the journalist. This is because the defendants, enjoyed the “qualified immunity”. The plaintiff couldn’t prove, “clearly established” constitutional right, violated by the defendants. They couldn’t predict the violation, couldn’t have the fair warning or notice in this regard, despite many similar cases all over the nation.

    I quote from the ruling:

    ” It is unreasonable to expect that the Individual Defendants in this case would have been on notice that O.C.G.A § 50-5-85 was unconstitutional based upon the application of Claiborne to the specific facts of this case……”

    Here to the ruling by the way:

    https://www.courthousenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/BDSgeorgia.pdf

    Thanks

  11. Jonathan: Over the years attempts have been made in Congress to criminalize the BDS movement. Under pressure from Israel supporting groups, like AIPAC, 32 states passed laws requiring all contractors to sign pledges promising not to boycott goods from Israel. The claim is that BDS is “anti-Semitic”. But many in BDS, including Jews, say they don’t oppose Israel’s right to exist but oppose the governments treatment of the Palestinians. Now Judge Cohen has ruled that Georgia’s anti-BDS law is unconstitutional. It’s about time. Unfortunately, attacks on the free speech rights of journalists are continuing elsewhere that require attention. Over the weekend Belarus president Lukashenko illegally diverted a Ryanair flight so he could arrest a dissident a dissident journalist. It was a state-sponsored hijacking. During the latest eruption in Israel-Palestinian violence the IDF bombed and destroyed a building in Gaza housing the AP and other news outlets. Israel wants to prevent journalists from reporting on the devastation caused by Israel’s bombing campaign. Israel’s attacks on journalists are clearly a violation of international law. Now the AP itself is being criticized for just firing a 22 year old reporter, Emily Wilder, who is Jewish and had been on the job for only 2 weeks. AP says it fired Wilder “for violations of AP’s social media policies during her time at AP”. Wilder says the company never told her what “violations” were involved. More than 100 other AP employees have protested Wilder’s firing. A few days before the firing the Stanford College Republicans started a smear campaign against Wilder claiming she is an “anti-Israel agitator”. Wilder attended Stanford and was active in the pro-Palestinian campus movement and vocal in her criticism of Israel’s discrimination policies against the Palestinians. Even right-wing Senators, like Tom Cotton, came out against Wilder. Forty-hours after this smear campaign began Wilder was fired from by AP. As a big defender of the “free speech” rights of conservatives on university campuses why didn’t you ring the alarm bell about how conservative groups at Stanford have tried to silence a former student and a journalist they don’t agree with? The Wilder case speaks volumes about the double standard you apply when dealing with “free speech” issues.

  12. Wasn’t it MLK who said you can’t legislate morality? This is the right ruling. As the Left has proven, you don’t need laws to cancel people. In fact, it’s more efficient to just act and then deal with the courts later. Once Conservatives learn this, they will stop playing defense and go on offense.

  13. If the University knew what her views were on BDS why would they ask her to be a keynote speaker. Doesn’t make sense.

  14. An Obama appointee somehow stumbles into the correct decision. Would be interesting to see his Ruling if the state law required a boycott of all things Trump

  15. Sadly I have to agree with the decision and Professor Turley’s assessment of the unconstitutionality of some of these laws. HOWEVER, I believe that sunlight, i.e. letting people know who and what organizations support such boycotts, will help eradicate the BDS movement. The people, like the Squad, that want to boycott Israel do not favor a boycott of Iran, China, Cuba or any other nation on the planet. The left will say that they are not anti-Semitic and yet it is only the Jewish state that they want to eliminate.

    The BDS “movement” is a BLM type of astroturf “grass roots” movement, a movement that is raised by left wing dark money form Soros kinds of sources. I do not know if the America/Israel hating Soros is in fact behind BDS, but it would not surprise me if he was.

  16. Turley concludes: “We can then continue to have a national debate (and hopefully a dialogue) on these underlying issues.”

    But unfortunately, Turley’s plea falls on Mespo’s deaf ears: “The Left never understands principles it doesn’t agree with. It’s why they are intellectually and morally barren.“

    How would you, Turley, suggest I engage in a dialogue with the likes of a Mespo? I’m thinking he is not going to be receptive to anything that I would have to say. You’re the professor. Maybe you can have a little chat with him when you get a chance. Unless you can talk some sense into him, there can be no national debate on this issue….

    1. “How would you, Turley, suggest I engage in a dialogue with the likes of a Mespo? “

      Jeff, that is difficult since you do not recognize what dialogue is. You get upset at those that disagree when you make erroneous libelous accusations and then don’t back those accusations up with proof and logic.

      Your gift of gab left you only with the gab portion of dialogue, not the rest.

    2. Jeff Silberman:

      “How would you, Turley, suggest I engage in a dialogue with the likes of a Mespo? ”
      **************************
      I’m hardly the representative of any political philosophy having defended both right and left positions for decades now but maybe we start this way:

      Resolved: “Any attempts to curtail people’s free speech or their right to defend themselves from illegal attacks ought to be resisted by everyone regardless of who is doing the curtailing.”

      Think we can agree on that basic premise?

      1. Mespo,

        Yes in theory, though in theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice, there is.

        And that’s the rub because everybody agrees with Free Speech and Self-defense in principle, and yet we bitterly disagree how to practice them.

        1. JS:
          “And that’s the rub because everybody agrees with Free Speech and Self-defense in principle, and yet we bitterly disagree how to practice them.”
          ************************
          Not really. There’s a body of law determining practice but if you can’t agree on the principle you can’t have a dialog about it. The Left never understands that saying red is also blue and black means that no discussion is possible because you can’t agree on terms or definitions of terms. That’s like arguing in different languages and the Left refuses to concede language or even fact. There’s a wonderful podcast out three about how fact became a casualty of the culture war. Once you can’t agree on fact, you have eliminated discussion as a means of resolving differences and you’re left with the only other option to do it circa 1861. And who can blame the Left, they lost the fact-based argument long ago and are now down to emotional pleas, demagoguery and divide and conquer. Like I said, they’re playing a losing hand if history is any guide.

          1. Mespo,

            It won’t surprise you to learn that I believe the polar opposite. The Right has lost the culture war. The final nail in the coffin was the constitutionality of same sex marriage. That is anathema to Evangelical belief. There is no taking back America now. It’s over. In addition, the Republicans are a minority party and likely to remain that way. The only way it can hold political power is to lie constantly and shamelessly. Which explains why it embraced a consummate liar in Trump despite the fact that he is irreligious, amoral and a sexual degenerate.

            Of course, I don’t expect you to believe anything I have said which is why we can never have a peaceful dialogue. You’ll never see things my way, and I’ll never see things yours. We are implacably opposed.

            There is a possibly that the Republicans will renounce Trumpism if Trump is prosecuted, found guilty and sentenced. While there will be dead-enders who will not accept the verdict, hopefully enough Trumpists will come to the realization that Liz Cheney was right that Trump is a conman and turn their back on him. However, if the Trumpists find a new savior and more intelligent liar to replace Trump, then I hope I won’t be around to witness the inevitable. Because the only matter on which we agree is that there is no prospect to resolve this impasse short of a blood-letting.

            Unless Turley throws his body between the opposing forces and beseeches us to throw down our arms. Perhaps, the good and noble professor who is respected by Trumpists but whose social values appeal to Liberals will be the lone advocate able to mediate and broach our insoluble differences. It will be his finest hour which won’t come cheap so let’s agree in advance to split his bill.

            1. JS:

              Yeah the Left won so big that Trump won the 2016 POTUS election. Declare victory if you want (it worked for the Trojans, right?) but culture wars never end and that’s what galls the Left. For example, the sentiments I see suggest we’re moving to the right: abortion is on its last legs, young people are aghast at what they are seeing in the streets and the current demographics suggest a more conservative future with big increases in Asian and Hispanic population both notoriously conservative socially. I also see a rise in the Network society (which dilutes the corrosive effects of Big Media) and a parallel economy based on political philosophy that sales (or lack thereof) of Coke, NBA finals and pillows prove daily. So you might want to hedge your bets ’cause when the revolution comes (and it always will) it’s won’t be pretty for the Left. You might see the first skirmish in the 2022 midterms where Queen Nancy might just lose her head.

              1. Mespo,

                The Right may rue the day if SC overturns Roe. You take away a woman’s right to control her own body, and you had better run for cover. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!

                1. “The Right may rue the day if SC overturns Roe. You take away a woman’s right to control her own body, and you had better run for cover. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!”
                  *****************************
                  They were “scorned” until 1973 and no one seemed to notice. As for Hell’s fury, that’s an appropriate metaphor if the Left is wrong about the nonexistence of divine retribution for abortion. For me, I’m going with Blaise Pascal’s safe bet.

                  1. Pascal’s wager is a false dichotomy. It’s not a choice between believing in god and not believing in god, but among believing in God A, God B, God C, …, and not believing in any gods, and it’s a wager that if you believe wrong, the only possibility is eternity in hell, when that, too, is only one of infinitely many possibilities for what the actual god(s) will do with you if you don’t believe correctly.

                    You mistakenly believe your choice to be a safe bet. It is not.

                  2. If I lived in the 1600’s, I might have taken that bet, but since I live in the 21st century, we now have the benefit of science which informs us that the Universe is made up of neutrons, protons, electrons and morons.

              2. “Yeah the Left won so big that Trump won the 2016 POTUS election.”

                That’s only because US presidents are elected via the Electoral College. Trump lost the popular vote, and he never had a majority of the country approving of his job performance. You, personally, may think that the culture wars are determined by the EC, but if so, that’s a bizarre stance to take.

                “the sentiments I see suggest we’re moving to the right”

                Your sight might be a bit biased.

                “when the revolution comes (and it always will) it’s won’t be pretty for the Left”

                It won’t be pretty for anyone except those who enjoy harming others. Are you among them?

                1. “It won’t be pretty for anyone except those who enjoy harming others. Are you among them?“

                  Anonymous the Stupid, you are too stupid to be in a leadership position so if what you espouse comes true you will be among the sufferers and you will have earned your just rewards.

                  A Serial Killer Called “Socialism”
                  Rafael Acevedo
                  “Socialism has killed more than 100 million people worldwide. Socialism came to Venezuela 60 years ago and has proven to be the worst form of government under which to improve the quality of life. Ludwig von Mises once said that every socialist is a potential dictator, and the history in Venezuela supports his statement. My country is now ruled by one of the most tyrannical, vicious, and corrupt regimes in the world and — as a dedicated socialist regime — it could not be anything else.”

                  1. I truly feel sorry for you and your family, Allan, that you take delight in denigrating people. It’s a mental illness, and I hope that some day you can find your way towards seeking help with it, for your family’s sake if not for your own.

                    1. Anonymous the Stupid, you have no reason to feel sorry for my family or me. All are happy and productive. None are hateful, which is one of your significant attributes.

                      Am I denigrating you, or have you already denigrated yourself. The latter is more accurate than the former. I am merely a mirror for you to see who you are.

                    2. “Anonymous the Stupid, … Am I denigrating you…?”

                      The answer is obviously “yes.” That you either can’t see that or are unwilling to admit it is on you.

                    3. Anonymous the Stupid, you lie by omission. You frequently misquote. This is what was said:

                      Am I denigrating you, or have you already denigrated yourself. The latter is more accurate than the former. I am merely a mirror for you to see who you are.

                      You are blind to who you are and need a lot of help understanding your own psyche.

                      I also said:

                      Anonymous the Stupid, you have no reason to feel sorry for my family or me. All are happy and productive. None are hateful, which is one of your significant attributes.

            2. “ The only way it can hold political power is to lie constantly and shamelessly. Which explains why it embraced a consummate liar in Trump despite the fact that he is irreligious, amoral and a sexual degenerate.”

              Amazing. Over and over again Jeff has been asked by more than one person to list a few of the most significant lies of Trump acting as President. To date he hasn’t.

              What I find even more surprising is Jeff’s complaint: “irreligious, amoral and a sexual degenerate.”

              Irreligious: Yet Jeff is an atheist. Does Jeff hate himself?

              amoral: Maybe Jeff wants to tell us what Trump has done to make him amoral. I think Jeff’s actions on the blog are amoral. Does that make him amoral?

              Sexual degenerate: It sounds like Jeff is a prude. Based on Jeff’s chaste life everyone else on the blog must be a degenerate.

              1. “Sexual degenerate: It sounds like Jeff is a prude”

                Jeff, like anyone who pays attention to the news, likely knows both that Trump has been accused of sexual harassment / assault / rape by over two dozen women and that Trump has admitted to sexually assaulting women (grabbing women by their pussies without consent, kissing women without consent). That makes him a sexual degenerate. Only a sick person would think that objecting to sexual assault makes someone a prude.

                1. Like the claim of Trump obstruction in today’s column by Turley, Anonymous the Stupid, the left constructs all sorts of lies about Trump. That is what we expect from you. The left makes unfounded accusations that have mostly been disproven, and the rest have no proof. One of the accusations has led to the accuser having being sued and losing. She now has to pay Trump rather than the other way around. Her attorney now sits in jail. That is where you and people like you belong.

                  “Trump has admitted to sexually assaulting women (grabbing women by their pussies without consent, kissing women without consent)”

                  I assume you get a signed consent agreement before engaging in any touching or feeling of the same or opposite sex. Hopefully, though questionable in your case, you do not engage in similar activities with children.

                  You make accusations that you cannot prove, yet you have seen proof of the opposite. That is what demonstrates sickness.

                  1. “One of the accusations has led to the accuser having being sued and losing. She now has to pay Trump rather than the other way around. Her attorney now sits in jail.”

                    You seem to be referring to Stormy Daniels. She isn’t one of the women in the group “Trump has been accused of sexual harassment / assault / rape by over two dozen women,” as she said she willingly had sex with him. It’s unsurprising that instead of dealing honestly with the over two dozen women who HAVE accused Trump of sexual harassment / assault / rape by over two dozen women, you instead attempt to deflect to a woman who didn’t.

                    “You make accusations that you cannot prove”

                    You don’t quote any. It’s actually pretty amusing that you make that accusation without presenting any proof for it.

                    Are you referring to my claim that “Trump has been accused of sexual harassment / assault / rape by over two dozen women”?
                    If so, here’s proof –
                    businessinsider.com/women-accused-trump-sexual-misconduct-list-2017-12

                    Are you referring to my claim that “Trump has admitted to sexually assaulting women (grabbing women by their pussies without consent, kissing women without consent)”
                    If so, here’s proof –
                    bbc.com/news/election-us-2016-37595321

                    “That is what demonstrates sickness.”

                    You again describe yourself.

            3. ” You’ll never see things my way, and I’ll never see things yours. We are implacably opposed.”

              Jeff, no one can ever see things your way because you are a basket of conclusions. You don’t bring facts and arguments to the table. All you do is make accusatory statements of those with different beliefs. Character assassination is your only game (“the Trumpists find a new savior and more intelligent liar to replace.”)

  17. What we need is an adult cot of Israel. Boys or girl’s cots are too small. Adult can’t sleep on a boy cot or Cott.
    Next we need to discuss Israeli snot.

  18. The organizing principle is that the Democrats and their media allies will take whatever position they think will help them gain and consolidate power.

  19. It’s the right call for a detestable political position but that’s what the First Amendment is all about. The Left never understands principles it doesn’t agree with. It’s why they are intellectually and morally barren. They will however exploit these principles for their own purposes even as they seek to undermine them. Hypocrites to the end, they are playing a losing hand. They don’t get that either.

    1. Mespo,

      “ The Left never understands principles it doesn’t agree with. It’s why they are intellectually and morally barren. They will however exploit these principles for their own purposes even as they seek to undermine them. Hypocrites to the end, they are playing a losing hand. They don’t get that either.”

      That’s hilarious. Actually you have that backwards. It’s not the left. It’s the right.

      Look at what Florida governor Desantis just signed. A law forcing social media to carry politician’s messages or face a $250,000 a day fine.

      It also allows commenters to sue if they think they have been unfairly censored.

      The very fact that it is hugely unconstitutional and a problem for right wing platforms who are exposed to lawsuits from liberal posters as well poses a problem worse than having none of this forced speech on private companies.

      I’m surprised Turley isn’t writing about this. Conservatives always seem to have a serious misunderstanding of what the first amendment really allows and doesn’t.

      1. Ron DeSantis is a tin horn dictator fit for a banana republic.

        It’s not about immutable fundamental law, it’s about Ron DeSantis.

        The federal model for state taxation is strictly “…general Welfare…” and social media are private property.

        An actual American would go nowhere near punitive taxation to facilitate “adventures” du jour, or nullification of freedom of the press.

        Adolph Hitler was given accolades for making the trains run on time.

        The Founders established America under the dominion of the manifest tenor of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
        _____________________________________________________________________________________________

        DeSantis signs tax increase on out-of-state online retailers

        The bill is estimated to produce an estimated $1 billion a year, with the money first earmarked for the unemployment trust fund.

        TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Ron DeSantis late Monday signed into law a plan to require out-of-state online retailers to collect sales taxes on purchases made by Floridians, with the estimated $1 billion a year in revenue going to curb a pair of taxes on Florida businesses.

        – Tampa Bay Times
        ________________

        Florida governor signs bill barring social media companies from blocking political candidates

        Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Monday that aims to punish social media companies for their moderation decisions, a move that Silicon Valley immediately criticized and likely sets the stage for potential legal challenges.

        – Washington Post

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