AG Paxton Applauds Fifth Circuit for Throwing Out a Lawsuit Challenging Law that Keeps Taxpayer Money from Companies that Boycott Israel
AUSTIN – Attorney General Ken Paxton applauded the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit for vacating a preliminary injunction against Texas House Bill 89, which forbids governmental entities from contracting with companies that discriminate against Israel, and holding that claims challenging the law on free-speech grounds are moot. In May 2019, House Bill 793 clarified that Texas’s anti-boycott certification requirements do not apply to sole proprietorships like the Plaintiffs in this case.
“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.”
In 2017, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 89, which prohibits the state from contracting with companies that boycott Israel, Texas’s fourth biggest trading partner. 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.
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