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CAIR-Austin, Plaintiff to Hold News Conference After Landmark First Amendment Victory Striking Down Texas Anti-BDS Law

(Austin, TX, 4/25/19) – On Friday, April 26, the Austin chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Austin), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, will hold a news conference in Austin, Texas, with plaintiff and speech language pathologist Bahia Amawi, as well as CAIR attorneys, welcoming the landmark victory in the First Amendment lawsuit challenging Texas’ anti-boycott law.

SEE: CAIR Wins Landmark First Amendment Victory Striking Down Texas Anti-BDS Law
https://www.cair.com/breaking_cair_wins_landmark_first_amendment_victory_striking_down_texas_anti_bds_law

Earlier today, Judge Pitman of the Western District of Texas issued a 56-page opinion striking down H.B. 89, the Texas Anti-BDS Act, as facially unconstitutional.

READThe Judge’s Opinion

The plaintiff in the lawsuit, as well as CAIR attorneys and CAIR-Austin staff, will be available for comment at the news conference.

WHAT: CAIR-Austin to Hold News Conference with Plaintiff, CAIR Attorneys After Landmark First Amendment Victory Striking Down Texas Anti-BDS Law
WHEN: Friday, April 26, 10 a.m. CST
WHERE: CAIR-Austin Office 3200 Steck Ave., Suite 250, Austin, TX 78757
CONTACT: CAIR-Austin Executive Director, Maira Sheikh, msheikh@cair.com, 512-785-7105

Every single “No Boycott of Israel” clause in every single state contract in Texas has today been stricken as unconstitutional.  The Attorney General of Texas is no longer permitted to include or enforce “No Boycott of Israel” clauses in any state contract.

The CAIR Legal Defense Fund filed the lawsuit in December 2018 challenging Texas Anti-BDS Act, H.B. 89. This afternoon Judge Pitman of the Western District of Texas issued a 56-page opinion striking down H.B. 89, the Texas Anti-BDS Act, as facially unconstitutional.

The Court held that the Texas Anti-BDS Act “threatens to suppress unpopular ideas” and “manipulate the public debate” on Israel and Palestine “through coercion rather than persuasion.”  The Court concluded: “This the First Amendment does not allow.”

In one case, the anti-BDS law in Texas was used to make eligibility for Hurricane Harvey relief funds contingent on political beliefs regarding Israel.

SEE: Need Hurricane Aid? In One Texas City, If You Boycott Israel, You May Be Out of Luck

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/10/20/559070267/need-hurricane-aid-in-one-texas-city-if-you-boycott-israel-you-may-be-out-of-luc

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

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