Bronner v. Duggan

At a Glance

Date Filed: 

April 20, 2016

Current Status 

Judge Contreras granted our motion to dismiss the case in the district court on February 4, 2019. Plaintiffs appealed to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on March 5, 2019 and filed a complaint in the D.C. Superior Court on March 11, 2019. On December 12, 2019, the Superior Court denied the defendants' anti-SLAPP motions and granted their motions to dismiss in part. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's dismissal on June 19, 2020. We appealed the Superior Court's denial of the anti-SLAPP motion on July 7, 2020.

Client(s) 

Case Description 

Bronner v. Duggan is a case filed by four American Studies Association (ASA) members against the ASA and ten individuals following the organization's passage of a resolution to endorse and honor the call of Palestinian civil society for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. This case is part of the Center for Constitutional Rights' efforts to support activists, academics, and organizations facing legal attacks for their advocacy on behalf of Palestinian rights.

In December 2013, the ASA held a membership vote on the resolution in which participation was the highest in the organization's history, and 66% of members voted to endorse the resolution. The boycott is part of the global campaign for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, in response to violations of international law and the denial of Palestinian rights. Several other academic associations have also voted to join the academic boycott.

In April 2016, four ASA members filed a suit, claiming that the vote violated the ASA's by-laws and the ASA officers breached their fiduciary duties. In March 2018, plaintiffs amended their complaint to add several new defendants, including Dr. Steven Salaita, who did not join the ASA board until two years after the vote. The Center for Constitutional Rights is representing Professor Salaita, whom we previously represented in his case challenging his firing by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for tweets criticizing Israel's 2014 assault on Gaza, in this case. 

Case Timeline

July 7, 2020
Local case: Appeal of anti-SLAPP motion denial to D.C. Court of Appeals
July 7, 2020
Local case: Appeal of anti-SLAPP motion denial to D.C. Court of Appeals
June 19, 2020
Federal case: D.C. Circuit affirms dismissal
June 19, 2020
Federal case: D.C. Circuit affirms dismissal
March 9, 2020
Federal case: Oral argument in D.C. Circuit
March 9, 2020
Federal case: Oral argument in D.C. Circuit
December 12, 2019
Local case: Anti-SLAPP motions denied and motions to dismiss granted in part
December 12, 2019
Local case: Anti-SLAPP motions denied and motions to dismiss granted in part
October 8, 2019
Federal case: Appellate briefing
October 8, 2019
Federal case: Appellate briefing
Plaintiffs-appellants file their brief on October 8, 2019, and defendants-appellees file their joint brief on January 8, 2020.
July 26, 2019
Federal case: D.C. Circuit denies motion for summary affirmance
July 26, 2019
Federal case: D.C. Circuit denies motion for summary affirmance
July 17, 2019
Local case: Hearing on anti-SLAPP motions and motions to dismiss
July 17, 2019
Local case: Hearing on anti-SLAPP motions and motions to dismiss
May 6, 2019
Local case: Defendants file Anti-SLAPP motions and motions to dismiss
April 19, 2019
Federal case: Defendants-appellees file motion for summary affirmance
April 19, 2019
Federal case: Defendants-appellees file motion for summary affirmance
Plaintiffs-appellants file their opposition on May 9, 2019 and defendants-appellants file their reply on May 23, 2019.
March 11, 2019
Local case: Plaintiffs file complaint in D.C. Superior Court
March 11, 2019
Local case: Plaintiffs file complaint in D.C. Superior Court
March 5, 2019
Federal case: Plaintiffs appeal to the D.C. Circuit
March 5, 2019
Federal case: Plaintiffs appeal to the D.C. Circuit
February 4, 2019
Judge grants motion to dismiss case
February 4, 2019
Judge grants motion to dismiss case
Judge Contreras dismisses the case against Dr. Salaita, the ASA, and all other defendants, finding that the plaintiffs failed to show they suffered injury sufficient to be in federal court, and that they lacked standing to sue on behalf of the ASA.
July 5, 2018
Judge issues order confirming court's subject matter jurisdiction
July 5, 2018
Judge issues order confirming court's subject matter jurisdiction
March 6, 2018
Plaintiffs file second amended complaint; judge issues stay and orders briefing on subject matter jurisdiction
March 6, 2018
Plaintiffs file second amended complaint; judge issues stay and orders briefing on subject matter jurisdiction
April 28, 2017
Answer to complaint
April 28, 2017
Answer to complaint
March 31, 2017
Judge grants in part and denies in part motion to dismiss
March 31, 2017
Judge grants in part and denies in part motion to dismiss
July 7, 2016
Defendants move to dismiss case
July 7, 2016
Defendants move to dismiss case
April 20, 2016
ASA member plaintiffs file case against defendants
April 20, 2016
ASA member plaintiffs file case against defendants
December 2013
ASA passes resolution to endorse academic boycott of Israel
December 2013
ASA passes resolution to endorse academic boycott of Israel
Participation among ASA members is the highest in the organization's history, and 66% of members vote to endorse the resolution.