Please call your CA assembly member now to oppose AB 2844

palestinianrightssacregion at palestinianrightssacregion at
Wed Jun 1 11:49:52 PDT 2016

Please call your CA Assembly member now and ask them to oppose AB 2844. This
bill attempts to restrict our right to boycott and is intended to silence
those critical of Israel's occupation, apartheid and other violations of
human rights and international law. The bill is scheduled to be heard on
June 2, so please call now.

Sacramento area Assembly member numbers are below, if you aren't sure who
your Assembly member is, go to:

Simply identify yourself and say you are calling to ask the Assemblymember
to vote no on AB 2844.  You can give a short reason for your opposition or
just say you want them to vote no.

More info:  Although AB 2844 has been amended for the time being to remove
specific reference to Israel and immediate imposition of sanctions against
companies who boycott Israel, it still is attempting to undermine our
constitutionally protected right to boycott.  As currently written, AB 2844
would waste our taxes by requiring the CA Attorney General to: 1) maintain a
list of all companies that "engage in discriminatory business practices in
furtherance of a boycott of  any sovereign nation or peoples recognized by
the government of the United States" and 2) determine the constitutionality
of banning such companies from entering into public contracts.
Discrimination is already illegal.  Boycotting human rights violating
governments should not be penalized.  Although this bill is part of the
Israel lobby's attempt to try to stop successfully boycott and divestment
practices aimed at changing Israeli abusive policies, it would apply to any
governments. For more information, below is the floor alert being sent to
all Assembly members

Sacramento Area Assembly members:  

Kevin McCarty
Tel: (916) 319-2007 <tel:%28916%29%20319-2010> 
Fax: (916) 319-2107 <tel:%28916%29%20319-2110>  

Ken Cooley
Tel: (916) 319-2008 <tel:%28916%29%20319-2010> 
Fax: (916) 319-2108 <tel:%28916%29%20319-2110> 

Jim Cooper
Tel: (916) 319-2009 <tel:%28916%29%20319-2010> 
Fax: (916) 319-210 <tel:%28916%29%20319-2110> 9

Bill Dodd
Tel: (916) 319-2004 <tel:%28916%29%20319-2010> 
Fax: (916) 319-2104 <tel:%28916%29%20319-2110> 

Beth Gaines
Tel: (916) 319-2006 <tel:%28916%29%20319-2010> 
Fax: (916) 319-2106 <tel:%28916%29%20319-2110> 

James Gallagher
Tel: (916) 319-2008 <tel:%28916%29%20319-2010> 
Fax: (916) 319-2108 <tel:%28916%29%20319-2110> 

If you can, please also call these Assembly leaders:

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon  916-319-2063 

Majority Floor Leader Ian Calderon (916) 319-2057 <tel:%28916%29%20319-2057>

Majority Whip Miguel Santiago (916) 319-2053 <tel:%28916%29%20319-2053>  

Democratic Whip Nora Campos  (916) 319-2027 <tel:%28916%29%20319-2027> 

Asst. Majority Whip Evan Low (916) 319-2028 <tel:%28916%29%20319-2028>   

Minority Floor Leader Chad Mayes (916) 319-2042 <tel:%28916%29%20319-2042>  

The important thing is to call today! They will be voting on so many bills
Thursday that they won't have time to read up on all of them in their
latest, amended forms.  

Assembly Floor Alert

Why AB 2844 still must be defeated

Coalition to Stop AB 2844: stop.1551.1552 at; 916 407-2814 (message

AB 2844, narrowed by constitutionality concerns to the extent that its own
author no longer supports it, remains highly problematic for many of the
same reasons that plagued it from the start. It should be defeated


In its April 17 analysis, the Assembly Judiciary Committee identified
"insurmountable" constitutional defects of the then-current version of AB
2844. These included conditioning a government benefit (contracting) on
businesses waiving their right to free speech in the form of boycott, and
singling out boycotts of only one country - Israel - for such a penalty. The
analysis emphasized that political boycotts are protected by the First
Amendment unless they involve other kinds of unlawful conduct.

Amendments incorporated on April 26 failed to address either problem
adequately. In its title and extensive declaratory language, AB 2844 still
singled out critics of Israeli policies. Although it made a boycott
punishable only if it constitutes a "discriminatory business practice," such
practices are already prohibited under California law, as noted in the
Appropriations Committee analysis of May 9. Thus the implication was that
boycotts of Israel are per se "discriminatory," in which case the bill was
unconstitutional for the same reasons as the original version. 


AB 2844 as passed by Appropriations on May 27 was further amended to remove
mention of Israel. The Attorney General (AG) is charged with compiling a
list of all companies that "engage in discriminatory business practices in
furtherance of boycott" of any recognized sovereign country. Additionally,
the AG is charged with determining the constitutionality of banning such
companies from entering into public contracts. Nine committee members,
including the bill's author, Assembly Member Bloom, voted not to send it to
the floor. A bare majority, however, advanced the bill. 

The defects of the latest version of AB 2844 are as follows:

.         AB 2844 still alludes - if surreptitiously and deceptively - to
boycotts of Israel. The title, "Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions of
Recognized Sovereign Nations or Peoples," borrows the name specific to the
call by Palestinian civil society to use economic and moral pressure to
influence Israel to end its human rights violations (commonly referred to as
"BDS"). Additionally, even if not mentioned in the bill, Israel is currently
the country whose policies are most commonly challenged by boycotts called
for by human rights advocates; proponents and authors of the bill openly
identify themselves as hostile only to boycotts of Israel. 

.         AB 2844 still unconstitutionally singles out politically motivated
boycotts for special scrutiny. The Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized
that it is precisely political expression, including political boycotts,
that must be accorded the highest First Amendment protection against
government interference.

.         As before, the bill requires the AG to extensively investigate
California businesses to compile the list of those that engage in
"discriminatory business practices in furtherance of a boycott." The
Appropriations analysis estimated a cost of $1.2 million a year for this
task. Not included is the cost of litigation over constitutionality, or
costs incurred by other public agencies.

.         Given their track record, Israel advocacy groups are likely to
inundate the Attorney General's office with complaints alleging that any
boycott of Israel is a priori "discriminatory." 

.         Existing law already prohibits companies from engaging in
discriminatory business practices, and in fact bans such companies from
public contracts. Therefore AB 2844 is at best entirely superfluous, adding
only the unconstitutional singling out and scrutinizing of companies that
engage in political boycott, and by implication, especially those regarding
Israel. It's worth noting, however, that the bill language requires
similarly unconstitutional targeting of boycotts regarding any number of
other countries.

.         Every civil rights legal organization that has weighed in on AB
2844 has warned of the constitutional defects that arise when the state
seeks to suppress political boycotts. These include the ACLU, the Bill of
Rights Defense Committee, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the National
Lawyers Guild and Palestine Legal.




-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the PalestinianRightsSacRegion mailing list