LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issues a statement following the Eighth Circuit’s 9-1 decision upholding Arkansas’s law barring state contractors from boycotting Israel. The decision affirms a lower court decision throwing out Arkansas Times’s lawsuit challenging Act 710 of 2017.
“Today is a resounding victory for Arkansas’s anti-discrimination law and reinforces Arkansas’s relationship with our long-time ally, Israel,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Arkansas had to spend taxpayer resources proving that Arkansas Times is not entitled to discriminate.”
Arkansas’s anti-discrimination law, Arkansas Act 710 of 2017, is a commonsense law that prohibits public entities from contracting with, and investing in, companies that boycott Israel. In 2018, Arkansas Times filed a lawsuit seeking to halt University of Arkansas System schools from requiring a pledge not to boycott Israel as part of business contracts. In January 2019, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas sided with Arkansas and dismissed that lawsuit. In February, a three-judge panel sided with Arkansas Times, and after Arkansas successfully petitioned the Eighth Circuit to hear the case en banc, the case was reargued in September 2021.
About Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. Elected on November 4, 2014, and sworn in on January 13, 2015, she is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected as Attorney General. She was resoundingly re-elected on November 6, 2018. Since taking office, she has significantly increased the number of arrests and convictions against online predators who exploit children and con artists who steal taxpayer money through Social Security Disability and Medicaid fraud. Further, she has held Rutledge Roundtable meetings and Mobile Office hours in every county of the State each year, and launched a Military and Veterans Initiative. She has led efforts to roll back government regulations that hurt job creators, fight the opioid epidemic, teach internet safety, combat domestic violence and make the office the top law firm for Arkansans. Rutledge serves on committees for Consumer Protection, Criminal Law and Veterans Affairs for the National Association of Attorneys General. She also served as the former Chairwoman of the Republican Attorneys General Association.
A native of Batesville, she is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. Rutledge clerked for the Arkansas Court of Appeals, was Deputy Counsel for former Governor Mike Huckabee, served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County and was an Attorney at the Department of Human Services before serving as Counsel at the Republican National Committee. Rutledge and her husband, Boyce, have one daughter. The family has a home in Pulaski County and a farm in Crittenden County.