The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
South Carolina yesterday passed a historic law banning the state from contracting with companies engaged in certain kinds of boycotts. The statute, dealing with "Prohibition of contracting with discriminatory businesses," provides, in part:
Section 11-35-5300. (A) A public entity may not enter into a contract with a business to acquire or dispose of supplies, services, information technology, or construction unless the contract includes a representation that the business is not currently engaged in, and an agreement that the business will not engage in, the boycott of a person or an entity based in or doing business with a jurisdiction with whom South Carolina can enjoy open trade, as defined in this article.
(B) For purposes of this section:
(1) 'Boycott' means to blacklist, divest from, or otherwise refuse to deal with a person or firm when the action is based on race, color, religion, gender, or national origin of the targeted person or entity. 'Boycott' does not include:
(a) a decision based on business or economic reasons, or the specific conduct of a targeted person or firm;
(b) a boycott against a public entity of a foreign state when the boycott is applied in a nondiscriminatory manner;
Full disclosure: I advised the sponsors of the bill, in particular, Rep. Alan Clemmons, on the measure.