Blocked Texas law that banned boycotts of Israel vacated by Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton makes comments during a news conference in Dallas (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton makes comments during a news conference in Dallas (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit vacated a preliminary injunction against Texas House Bill 89 this week.

The Texas legislature passed the law — what’s known as an anti-BDS law — in 2017. It doesn’t allow state contractors or public funds to go to companies that are boycotting Israel.

The decision to vacate was applauded by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

“The Fifth Circuit correctly recognized that the Plaintiffs do not have any live claims against a law that does not apply to them,” said Attorney General Paxton. “The state of Texas has the right to boycott boycotters in this instance. Doing so does not suppress protected speech or expression and supports a long-established principle of non-discrimination.”

Bahia Amawi, a former speech pathologist with Pflugerville ISD, originally sued the district on the law with the support of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

In April 2019, a federal judge temporarily blocked the law that bans state contractors from boycotting Israel.

Later, during 2019 session, House Bill 793 clarified that Texas’s anti-boycott certification requirements do not apply to sole proprietorships like the Plaintiffs in this case.

The anti-boycott certification requirement is limited to government contracts with companies of 10 or more full-time employees and contracts that have a value of $100,000 or more, according to the release.  

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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