We write to celebrate and amplify a critical victory announced by our colleagues at Palestine Legal and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)—a victory for academic freedom in Palestine and the United States, and a definitive affirmation of the ASA’s charge to resist the restrictions imposed upon the study and organization of minoritized life and dissent. On March 1, 2023 the ASA, its members, and leadership, including defendants Lisa Duggan, J. Kēhaulani Kauanui, Sunaina Maira, Curtis Marez, Jasbir Puar, Chandan Reddy, Steven Salaita, John Stephens, and Neferti Tadiar—won a major victory in D.C. Superior Court, which dismissed the lawsuit brought against the ASA by Simon Bronner, Michael Rockland, Charles Kupfer, and Michael Barton and backed by the Brandeis Center for a 2013 resolution endorsing the academic boycott of Israel. The court found that the D.C. law to prevent SLAPP suits (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) protected the ASA and its leadership from suppressive and frivolous suits meant to curtail speech in the public interest. J. Kēhaulani Kauanui and Jasbir Puar were represented by Mark Allen Kleiman and Richard Renner, and Steven Salaita by the CCR. All other defendants were represented by Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, L.L.P.
We continue to honor the calls from Palestinian civil society and those of our membership for justice and commend the leadership of this organization, named here and beyond, for their vision and service. This ruling is a confirmation of the right of people everywhere to organized protest and a testament to the ASA’s openness and vibrancy as a space of radical debate and scholarly responsibility.
We thank you for your solidarity and support.
Discussion of previous rulings can be found here.
Community announcements and events are services that are offered by the ASA to support the organizing efforts of critical constituency groups. They do not reflect the decisions or actions of the association’s governance bodies, the National Council or Executive Committee. Questions should be directed to the committee, caucus, or chapter that has authored and posted this notice.