U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat, spoke at length Tuesday on the Senate floor against efforts to punish those who might be critical of Israel — such as the Arkansas copycat law unsuccessfully challenged by the Arkansas Times that requires people and companies doing business with the state to pledge not to engage in boycotts against Israel.

Federal Judge Brian Miller has ruled in our ACLU-backed lawsuit that our First Amendment rights were not abridged by being punished by the state of Arkansas for refusing to a sign the pledge. Our point wasn’t Israel. Our point was a state dictate on our free speech.

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Van Hollen spoke on federal legislation with the same intention. It reflects a “profound misunderstanding of the First Amendment,” he said.

At roughly the 15:30 mark in the video linked above, Van Hollen addresses the Miller decision. “This district court decision is destined for the dustbin of history,” he said. “I’m not sure any senator on either side of the aisle wants to be associated with its holding.” He said there’s “no doubt” Miller “will be overturned” for misreading past Supreme Court precedent on boycotts.

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Other judges have ruled against such laws in other states. Multiple challenges are pending.

Call Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton. Ask them to join Van Hollen.

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