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Sen. Paul Boyer’s Statement on Passage of SB1167

Senator Paul Boyer issued the following statement in response to the Arizona Legislature’s passage of SB1167. The bill passed with strong bipartisan support through the Senate and the House of Representatives:

“I applaud the State of Arizona, the Legislature, and our wonderful citizens for helping to pass this important bill. Three years ago, Arizona originally passed a law that protects the economy and interests of Arizona by ensuring that the state, through our contracts and investments, will not be party to commercial discrimination against businesses that operate in Israel. Economic data shows that Israel is among our state’s most important trading partners, and that this trade involves key economic sectors that materially impact Arizonans’ quality of life. SB1167 clarifies our original law by removing its application to sole proprietorships and small businesses, a particular area where the distinction between a party’s personal and commercial conduct may be more difficult to clearly determine.

As a result of the Arizona Legislature’s good faith update to the law, any questions regarding the impact of the law upon First Amendment interests are now entirely resolved. A January ruling by the Federal Court in Arkansas, the first and only merits-based judgment on the constitutionality of such laws, decisively held in favor of states’ right to regulate their own involvement in commercial activity, particularly where it bears upon their compelling interests. Accordingly, the concern raised in a case presented to Arizona’s own federal court has been appropriately addressed and resolved, and the case ought to now be dismissed so that taxpayer dollars are not wasted.

With this point of law now well settled, the Arizona Legislature has made it clear once and for all that this law does not prevent anyone from expressing their point of view; it does not prevent anyone from speaking out in favor of boycotts or privately engaging in boycotts of their own accord or being critical of Israel or even from being anti-Semitic. We have made obvious the fact that it is blatantly untrue to suggest that Arizona law encourages or compels persons to do business with Israel or take an oath of loyalty; Furthermore, our legislative action shows that it is a lie to suggest that the law punishes individuals for refusing to do business with Israel based on their own beliefs, whatever the reason or for no reason at all.

In celebrating the passage of SB1167, I wish to thank the many citizens who came together in support. Arizona’s citizens not only stand with Israel because of the economic and practical benefits received, but as a matter of faith, principle, and as a point of American patriotism. Many people cared enough to take time away from work and engage their government on this issue.

Finally, I wish to thank IAC for Action, and its director, Joseph Sabag, without whose legal expertise, policy analysis, research and educational resources SB1167 simply could not have happened. The expertise demonstrated by their professionals, in delivering the many informational resources needed to help defend the vital interests of Arizona as well as protect Free Speech Rights, was nothing short of superior."

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