Thank Florida State Reps. Smith, Mercado and Cortes for their Opposition to Unconstitutional anti-BDS Legislation


Action Alert: Join CAIR in Thanking Florida Reps. Cortes, Mercado and Smith for their Opposition to Unconstitutional anti-BDS Legislation

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/6/2018) – The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Florida), the nation’s largest civil rights and advocacy organization, is urging all those who value the First Amendment to join CAIR-Florida in thanking Florida State Representatives Smith, Mercado and Cortes for their unwavering fight for justice for all by opposing unconstitutional “anti-BDS” legislation.

The United States Supreme Court has held that boycotts, like the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement, “bring about political, social, and economic change,” (NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co., 458 U.S. 886, 911 (1982).


On January 31, 2018, Representatives Cortes (D-FL), Mercado (D-FL) and Smith (D-FL) voted against HB 545, a bill that prohibits businesses on the Scrutinized Companies that Boycott Israel List from doing business with the state of Florida. Even amidst strong opposition, these three representatives took a brave stand to defend the right to freedom of speech granted in the First Amendment.

HB 545 was introduced at a time when Palestinian human rights activists in the United States and elsewhere have embraced boycotts as a strong, peaceful and effective tool to pressure the Israeli government to respect the human rights of Palestinians and to influence the American public to join in doing the same.

“We thank Representatives Cortes, Mercado and Smith for their courageous and honorable stance against a bill that seeks to suppress the freedom of speech and political expression for an internationally-recognized human rights cause,” said Rasha Mubarak, CAIR’s Central Florida Regional Director.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

CONTACT: CAIR National Government Affairs Department Coordinator Amineh Safi, 202-646-6033,; CAIR Florida Central Florida Regional Director Rasha Mubarak, 954-272-0490,

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