While New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is busy vetoing bill which would automatically register voters, he is also greedily signing unconstitutional legislation which seeks to punish groups who choose to boycott Israel.
It’s all part of a growing governmental consensus, at least among right-wing politicians and the right-leaning Democrats, that any criticism of Israel is antisemitic and anti-American.
The ACLU and other legal advocacy groups are warning that the new law signed on Tuesday is unconstitutional and reeks of McCarthism and blacklisting. The law would require that the State Investment Council, which manages more than $80 billion in pension assets, deprive anti-Israel companies these benefits.
This law is a violation of business’s and individual’s free speech, and even in its application, is deeply flawed. How can Christie and his cronies determine if a business is boycotting Israel for personal beliefs or another reason entirely? Will there be a distinction? Are there currently any laws on the books to punish individuals from boycotting any other nation? I remember quite distinctly the rankle around France in the last two decades, and there didn’t seem to be any state-sanctioned punishment for that behavior which was widely considered to be patriotic.
This law will likely be struck down for how unconstitutional it is, but that the state legislature was able to pass it says more than we ever wished to know about how low Christie and the other N.J. leadership are willing to sink.