Repeal Texas H.B. 89
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House Bill 89 was signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbott on May 2nd, 2017 and became effective on September 1st, 2017. This law prohibits state pension funds from being invested into any company that boycotts the nation of Israel, and it prohibits state and local governments from contracting with companies that boycott Israel. Additionally, the company must provide a written verification that they will not boycott Israel. Recently, contractors in Dickinson, TX applying for disaster relief funds after Hurricane Harvey were instructed to provide a sworn statement saying that they would not boycott Israel. We believe that HB 89 violates the U.S. Constitution for the following reasons: 1) The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of speech and expression. As applied to the states through the 14th Amendment, the state of Texas cannot discriminate against an individual or entity based on his/her/their belief on the state of Israel. Additionally, the State of Texas cannot demand that one pledge loyalty to a foreign nation. 2) In NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co. (1982), the United States Supreme Court ruled that states can not prohibit peaceful advocacy of a politically-motivated boycott. 3) Article I, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution prohibits any state from entering into a treaty, alliance, confederation, agreement, or compact with another state or foreign power. The State of Texas' demand for loyalty toward a foreign nation is an implied agreement between the State of Texas and the foreign nation of Israel.
The gross negligence of Texas legislators to acknowledge constitutional concerns regarding HB 89 is detestable. We believe that action is necessary when those who represent us fail to respect the established law. One of the most profound consequences of this unconstitutional law is undoubtedly the denial of disaster relief funds for victims of Hurricane Harvey based on that person's beliefs. Based on careful review of laws and judicial precedents, We the People have determined Texas House Bill 89 to be unconstitutional. As is appropriate with any unconstitutional legislation, We the People request through this petition that House Bill 89 be repealed.
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