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SCOTUS Leaves in Place Ban on Israel Boycott, Hears Case Involving Liability for YouTube Algorithms

HeadlineFeb 22, 2023

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal to an Arkansas law that penalizes the boycott of Israel. The case was brought on behalf of the editor of the Arkansas Times, who refused to sign a pledge that he would not boycott Israel in order to benefit from state advertising contracts. Over 30 such laws are in place around the country and have been used as a model to curb boycotts of oil companies and gun manufacturers, as well. The ACLU argued the Arkansas law should be overturned since boycotts have been established as protected speech under the First Amendment. Click here to see our interview on the subject.

Separately, on Tuesday, Supreme Court justices heard arguments in Gonzalez v. Google, a case challenging federal protections for social media and search engine companies that host and amplify potentially dangerous content. The plaintiff argues YouTube, which is owned by Google, bears responsibility in the death of Nohemi Gonzalez, a U.S. citizen who was killed in the Paris 2015 terror attack, because it recommended ISIS recruitment videos on its platform. The justices, however, seemed unlikely to reverse decades of status quo in legal protection for the tech companies.

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