The Right to Publish — avoiding boycott sanctions

Tonda Rush

Mar 1, 2021

The National Newspaper Association and other media organizations, led by Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, prevailed in February in striking down an Arkansas statute that might have penalized newspapers for editorials critical of Israel.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled that a 2017 Arkansas law restricting state contractors from participating in boycotts or “other actions intending to limit commercial relations with Israel” was an impermissible restriction on the First Amendment rights of contractors. NNA and others joined a friend of the court brief on behalf of the Arkansas Times of Little Rock, Arkansas, which was concerned that the constraints would apply to newspapers that had contracts with public entities.

NNA was concerned that newspapers receiving public notice advertising might also be affected by the law.