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ACLU contests Kansas law punishing citizens involved in boycott of Israel

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing Kansas on behalf of Esther Koontz, a high school math teacher, who refused to sign a form saying she was not participating in a boycott of Israel thus disqualifying herself for a job training other math teachers. Koontz said, “The state should not be telling people what causes they can or can’t support. You don’t need to share my beliefs or agree with my decisions to understand that this law violates my free speech rights.” (Common Dreams, October 11, 2017, by Jessica Corbett)

The bill that went into effect July 1 prohibits the state from signing contracts with any person or company boycotting Israel over its treatment of Palestine. legislators said the law promoted trade and other partnerships with Israel, but the ACLU said it was unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination. (The Wichita Eagle, October 11 2017, by Daniel Salazar)

In 1982 the Supreme Court ruled that the NAACP could boycott white-owned businesses in Mississippi to protest racial segregation. It was their right to do so under the First Amendment that protected free association and free expression. (ACLU, October 11, 2017, by Brian Hauss)


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