The First Amendment says you have the right to engage in an “expression of protest against the policies” of a foreign government, yet the Ohio House Government Oversight Committee just voted in favor of HB 476, which runs in flagrant violation of that right. The Ohio House of Representatives is expected to vote on this unconstitutional bill next week.
HB 476 would bar any state agency from entering into a contract with a business unless the business declares it is not boycotting or divesting from Israel. The bill’s own definition of boycott and divestment define both acts as as an “expression of protest against the policies of the government of Israel.”
The bill gets one thing right, boycotts are political speech. The Supreme Court has explicitly ruled that boycotts for political, economic, and social change receive the highest protections of the First Amendment. And the Supreme Court has further ruled that conditioning a contract on the political speech of the recipient violates the First Amendment.
We need you to write to your Representative today and tell them to stand up for free speech and vote against HB 476. As a BORDC/DDF grassroots supporter, you are the Bill of Rights frontline defense.