At a Glance
The Center for Constitutional Rights and Palestine Legal filed an amicus brief arguing the appellate court should affirm the lower court decision on January 24, 2019. On January 6, 2020, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the district court decision and remanded the case, finding that modifications to the Arizona law and its application to the plaintiff made the case moot.
Jordahl v. Brnovich is a case that challenges Arizona’s 2016 anti-BDS law that forbids the state from contracting with companies that boycott Israel. The Center for Constitutional Rights and Palestine Legal filed an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that it should uphold the lower court’s decision granting a preliminary injunction against the law. This brief is part of the Center for Constitutional Rights and Palestine Legal’s work to challenge efforts to suppress First Amendment-protected activities in support of Palestinian rights, including attempts to restrict Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns. For more information about these efforts, see our joint report, The Palestine Exception to Free Speech: A Movement Under Attack in the U.S.
Mikkel Jordahl is an attorney whose law practice contracts with the state to represent people in prison. Because Jordahl refused to sign the state-mandated certification in his contract asserting that his firm does not boycott Israel, he was not paid for his services. The district court in Arizona granted Jordahl’s motion for a preliminary injunction, and the state of Arizona appealed the case to the Ninth Circuit. The Center for Constitutional Rights and Palestine Legal’s brief describes the context of the broader, coordinated, and well-financed efforts by Israel-aligned groups to stifle a viewpoint in favor of Palestinian rights, as well as the long history of the tactic of boycotts to advocate for social change and the importance of the role of the courts in protecting First Amendment rights.