Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) speaks to reporters following a closed briefing on intelligence matters on Capitol Hill on December 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

'You Still Have Time to Contact Your Senators': Pressure to Block Anti-Boycott Bill Mounts as McConnell Aims for Thursday Vote

"Two federal judges have already found state laws that attempt to punish companies or individuals for boycotting Israel unconstitutional... Of course they are unconstitutional. They are also racist, aimed at keeping brown Palestinians down."

Jake Johnson

After Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) delayed until Thursday afternoon the second procedural vote on a bill that would punish boycotts of Israel, Palestinian rights groups that have condemned the legislation as "unconstitutional" kept up urgent calls for Americans to pressure their senators to block the measure again.

"You still have time to contact your Senators to again defeat this unconstitutional bill that encourages states to punish people for boycotting for Palestinian rights," declared Josh Ruebner, policy director at the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights.

The procedural vote on the legislation—S.1—is expected to come as early as 1:45 pm ET on Thursday.

If passed, S.1—which is sponsored by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)—would hand states and localities more power to punish companies and individuals who participate in the the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The ACLU has denounced the legislation as an unlawful attack on free speech, and two federal courts have ruled that similar bills are unconstitutional.

Condemning backers of the Senate bill as "betrayers of the Constitution" in a blog post on Tuesday, Juan Cole of Informed Comment pointed out that "[e]conomic boycotts have been part and parcel of American political striving for liberty from the beginning. I have three words for you: Boston Tea Party. What do you think the American colonists were doing when they tossed 342 chests of British tea into the harbor? They were boycotting, divesting, and sanctioning the injustice of King George III."

"Two federal judges have already found state laws that attempt to punish companies or individuals for boycotting Israel unconstitutional, one in Kansas and one in Arizona," Cole concluded. "Of course they are unconstitutional. They are also racist, aimed at keeping brown Palestinians down."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Peace Advocates Sound Warnings as Progressive Lawmakers Go All-In for $40 Billion Ukraine War Package

"Russia's invasion of Ukraine must be condemned," says one activist. "But the administration has been telegraphing for weeks that its war aims now go well beyond defending Ukraine."

Brett Wilkins ·


Oklahoma Lawmakers Pass Strictest US Abortion Ban While Roe Still Stands

Reproductive rights supporters vowed to fight against the ban that begins at fertilization and, like legislation in Texas, "creates a bounty-hunting scheme" for enforcement.

Jessica Corbett ·


Judy Blume, Mo Willems Among 1,300 Children's Authors to Condemn 'Wave of Book Suppression'

"Reading stories that reflect the diversity of our world builds empathy and respect for everyone's humanity."

Kenny Stancil ·


Now Do Windfall Tax, Say Climate Groups After Passage of Big Oil Price Gouging Bill

"Voters will reward politicians who stand up for people, not polluters," said one campaigner, "and taxing windfall profits is wildly popular in every part of the country."

Brett Wilkins ·


Ocasio-Cortez: Maloney Should Quit DCCC Post If He Runs Against Mondaire Jones

"It's completely inappropriate" for Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney to be in charge of the House Democrats' campaign arm "if he's going to challenge another member," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo