Professor Katherine Franke to Testify Before Massachusetts Legislature

On July 18, Professor Katherine Franke is to testify against a bill currently before the Massachusetts Legislature. The bill would require anyone who aims to enter a contract of more than $10,000 with the state to certify compliance with anti-discrimination laws, and Franke, the Sulzbacher Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Center for Constitutional Rights, says that it would infringe on the U.S. Constitution and disregard a legacy of political protest in the commonwealth.

Franke says in written testimony that the proposed law aims to punish supporters of an international campaign known as Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) and marks “a regretful departure” from a tradition of boycotts that dates to the Boston Tea Party.

The bill also “identifies for condemnation political activity that is clearly protected under the First Amendment… and under international law,” and misstates “the aims of the boycott movement in this context,” writes Franke, who also directs the Law School’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law and is the faculty director of the Public Rights/Private Conscience Project.

Read the written testimony here.



Posted on July 17, 2017