New York State’s Executive Order 157 (2016) prohibits a single political group from receiving state funds: supporters of Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS), a civil movement aimed at influencing Israeli government policy. This article analyzes the constitutional validity of New York’s order and similar official sanctions on BDS throughout the United States. I argue that Executive Order 157 runs afoul of the First Amendment in two ways. First, it targets BDS because of its communicative intent, in violation of the First Amendment’s “hard stop” on government regulation with the improper purpose of suppressing a specific message. Second, it fails to comport with the First Amendment’s limits on restrictions of government contractor speech, overburdening contractors’ and the public’s right to make and hear political speech without valid justification. Executive Order 157 embodies a troubling trend toward state condemnation of disfavored political opinion and its clear disregard for constitutional mandates urges legal challenge.
Voting rights advocates should explore section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act as a vehicle to combat voter intimidation.
An evidentiary privilege to protect workers' confidential communications from disclosure in federal and state court proceedings would support unions.
Labor organizing privilege is not a magic bullet that will secure the rights of workers to organize and collectively bargain. Employers will continue to resist the efforts of their workers to organize.
A transgender student's expression of her gender identity, including through the use of gender consistent bathrooms, is First Amendment protected speech,