Israel

Chris Potter (Flickr)

A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked a Kansas law barring state contractors from participating in boycotts against Israel, saying the law violates their free speech rights.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree wrote in his decision that the U.S. Supreme Court has held that the "First Amendment protects the right to participate in a boycott like the one punished by the Kansas law."

James Emery / flickr Creative Commons

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal lawsuit challenging a Kansas law prohibiting state contractors from participating in boycotts against Israel.

The ACLU filed the lawsuit Wednesday for a Wichita public school curriculum coach. It says Esther Koontz was denied a state teacher training contract because she wouldn't sign a statement saying she wasn't boycotting Israel.

The lawsuit says Koontz is boycotting Israeli products because of Israel's treatment of Palestinians and that the Kansas law violates her free speech rights.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback made a secretive trip to Israel this summer and met with the prime minister there.