Please join the Center for Constitutional Rights and co-counsel Davis Wright Tremaine on Friday, March 9, 2018, to hear oral arguments on defendants’ and plaintiffs’ motions for summary judgment in Davis, et al. v. Cox, et al. We are defending a lawsuit against 15 former volunteer board members of the Olympia Food Co-op brought by three of the 22,000 Co-op members to end its boycott of Israeli products and seek damages against the individual defendants.
CCR Deputy Legal Director Maria LaHood will argue that the case should be dismissed because the Board had the authority to adopt the boycott, as two courts in this seven-year-old case have previously found.
As part of the Co-op’s mission of social justice, the Board of the Olympia Food Co-op adopted a boycott of Israeli products in 2010. Rather than bringing the matter to a member vote, which they were likely to lose, the Co-op member plaintiffs filed Davis, et al. v. Cox, et al. against the former board members. The case was dismissed under Washington State’s anti-SLAPP statute, which provided for dismissal of meritless cases designed to chill First Amendment-protected speech and expression, and the dismissal was affirmed on appeal. Plaintiffs then appealed the case to the Washington State Supreme Court, which struck down the anti-SLAPP statute, and the case was remanded to Thurston County Superior Court. As this meritless case continues to drag on, plaintiffs further their goal of chilling free speech of Co-op members and others interested in supporting Palestinian rights. A resolution was recently passed by the Co-op Board (none of whom are defendants) that states that the lawsuit is not in the interest of the Co-op and should be dismissed.