News Releases

Rutledge Wins at 8th Circuit Preventing Discrimination Against Israel

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issues a statement following the Eighth Circuit’s 9-1 decision upholding Arkansas’s law barring state contractors from boycotting Israel. The decision affirms a lower court decision throwing out Arkansas Times’s lawsuit challenging Act 710 of 2017.

“Today is a resounding victory for Arkansas’s anti-discrimination law and reinforces Arkansas’s relationship with our long-time ally, Israel,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Arkansas had to spend taxpayer resources proving that Arkansas Times is not entitled to discriminate.”

Arkansas’s anti-discrimination law, Arkansas Act 710 of 2017, is a commonsense law that prohibits public entities from contracting with, and investing in, companies that boycott Israel. In 2018, Arkansas Times filed a lawsuit seeking to halt University of Arkansas System schools from requiring a pledge not to boycott Israel as part of business contracts. In January 2019, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas sided with Arkansas and dismissed that lawsuit. In February, a three-judge panel sided with Arkansas Times, and after Arkansas successfully petitioned the Eighth Circuit to hear the case en banc, the case was reargued in September 2021.