Attorney General Laxalt Files Friend of the Court Brief Supporting Arizona’s Law Against Anti-Israeli Discrimination

February 8, 2018

Carson City, NV – Today, Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt filed a friend-of-the-court brief in Arizona federal district court in support of Arizona, which is now defending a law respecting certain anti-Israel boycotts. Recently, around half of the states, including Nevada, have passed laws limiting a company from contracting with the State if that company is also participating in boycotts of Israeli companies or people solely on the basis of their Israeli nationality.

    The brief explains that Arizona’s law, like Nevada’s, is a classic anti-discrimination measure that prohibits discrimination on the basis of nationality or national origin.

      “States have long exercised their right to use their own money to refuse to subsidize discrimination based on nationality,” said Attorney General Adam Laxalt. “A business in Arizona has asserted a right to reject people because of the country listed on their passport. But we as a State have an equal right to refuse to join hands economically with businesses that behave in this discriminatory way.”

        “As the sponsor of SB 26, Nevada’s anti-Israel boycotts law, I’m grateful to Attorney General Laxalt for continuing Nevada’s strong support of Israel by engaging in this important case,” added Lieutenant Governor Mark Hutchison.

          In 2017, Nevada’s Senate Bill 26, sponsored by Lieutenant Governor Mark Hutchison, was enacted by a combined legislative vote of 58-2, and signed by Governor Brian Sandoval. The bill declares that boycotts can be a “tool of economic warfare” that threatens the “sovereignty and security of key allies and trade partners” like Israel, and that such boycotts often are grounded in “discriminatory decisions on the basis of national origin.” Nevada’s response to this was to make it state policy to consider a company’s participation in such efforts in (1) “awarding grants and contracts” or in (2) receiving state investment. S.B. 26 applies to refusals to do business with Israel, or persons or entities doing business in Israel, “on the basis of nationality, national origin or religion.”

            The case is Mikkel Jordahl, et. al., v. Mark Brnovich, et al., Case No. 3:17-cv-08263-PCT-DJH (D. Ariz.). To view the filed brief, click here.