Ali vs Hogan Part 6: Oral Arguments on Hogan's Motion to Dismiss

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About 1 week ago, lawyers for both sides got a message from Judge Catherine Blake ordering us to appear in her Federal Court Room today August 1 to present oral arguments for/against Governor Hogan's motion to dismiss. So this afternoon, we all made our way up to her federal courtroom in Baltimore's Inner Harbor to present those arguments.

Unfortunately cameras are not allowed inside the courtroom so I can't show you any video of the hearing. But both presented similar arguments as they had already provided in writing. The judge grilled both sides for nearly an hour with sharp questions. You can read articles about this court hearing here:

Afterwards Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and I gave a joint press conference which you can watch here:

Judge Blake did not make a ruling during the hearing. So we now have to await her written ruling on Hogan's motion to dismiss. It may take weeks or months for this ruling to come down. We have no idea when it will arrive. But when it does, I will immediately make a new blog post revealing it.

If Judge Blake grants Hogan's motion to dismiss, then our case will essentially be over. But if she denies the motion to dismiss, then our case will proceed to the next phase: discovery and then eventually a trial.

Ali vs Hogan Part 5: Saqib Ali Tells Court About Judge's Favorable Ruling in a Similar Case in Texas

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On April 25th, Bahia Amawi, a Palestinian-American speech pathologist who filed a case very similar to mine in Texas, won a temporary injunction against Texas's anti-BDS law. The judge in that case wrote that Texas' anti-BDS law "threatens ... to suppress unpopular ideas ... and ... manipulate the public debate through coercion rather than persuasion....This the First Amendment does not allow." This is a huge victory for the cause of free speech and it sent major alarm-bells ringing through the anti-BDS community.

Like me, Bahia is being represented in that case pro-bono by CAIR. In fact her lawyers in that case (Gadeir Abbas and Carolyn Homer) are also my lawyers in my case against Larry Hogan. Today these lawyers filed a "Notice of Supplemental Authority" notifying the judge in my case about the Judge's decision in the Texas case and arguing that our judge should take that judge's opinion into account while ruling in my case.

You can see the notice below. And you can also see the 56-page opinion issued by the Texas judge. We are hopeful the developments in Texas will help our case.


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Ali vs Hogan Part 4: Governor Hogan and Attorney General Frosh file Another Set of Responses on the Motion To Dismiss

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On Monday March 25th 2019, We (me and CAIR's lawyers) responded to Maryland's Governor Larry Hogan Motion To Dismiss against my civil rights lawsuit saying. Today Governor Hogan and Attorney General Brian Frosh both submitted separately their responses to our latest motion. You can click below to read these two motions in full.

The main arguments in these motions are as follows:

  1. My personal boycotts of Israel and Israeli products don't convey to any sole proprietorship I own. Since the executive order doesn't apply to individuals (only companies), then that sole propietorship isn't boycotting Israel and can get a contract.
  2. This is really about my discrimination against those with Israeli national origin. And overturning the executive order is a moot point because my boycott of Israeli products already violates other Maryland anti-discrimination laws/regulations which would disqualify me from receiving any state contract. 
  3. My boycotts of Israeli products has no bearing on applying for a state contract and I can in fact truthfully sign the pro-Israel pledge in good-faith without ceasing my boycott. (Doesn't this contradict point #2?!?)
  4. Consumer Boycotts are not protected free speech and it's clear that discriminating against Israelis is not a First Amendment right.
  5. The Attorney General cannot be sued in this matter because he has no role in enforcing the Governor's executive order and my attempts to show that he is linked to it fail.

All the filings having to do with the Governor's Motion to Dismiss have now been made. The judge will rule on the Motion to Dismiss. We don't know exactly when that would be. It could be in weeks or months. Also the judge could summon lawyers from both sides to make oral arguments before she rules. We just have to wait and see what she decides. I will post an update as soon as I hear any new information!



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Ali vs Hogan Part 3: Saqib Ali Responds to Governor Hogan's Motion to Dismiss

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On Monday March 11th 2019, Maryland's Governor Larry Hogan filed a Motion To Dismiss against my civil rights lawsuit saying (among other things) that I lacked standing to sue.

Today, CAIR's lawyers on my behalf responded to that motion strongly rebutting each point in the Governor's motion. You can read our motion by clicking below.

The main arguments in this motion are as follows:

  1. As an individual seeking a state contract, I have standing in this case even though I am not a company because Hogan's executive order pertaining to companies explicitly includes sole proprietorships. Under Maryland law, sole proprietorships are indistinguishable from individuals.
  2. I have standing in this case even though I have not actually applied for any state contract because even to bid on such a contract, I would have to certify that I don't boycott Israel or its illegal settlements. I am not required to undertake the expense and effort of bidding on such a contract knowing apriori that I will be rejected because of my boycott.
  3. The Governor and Attorney General are the proper defendants in this case because the Governor is the one who issued the unconstitutional executive order and the Attorney General admits that he has the authority "to seek debarment of vendors who violate Maryland’s procurement laws."
  4. The Governor's claims that the Supreme Court case NAACP vs Claiborne hardware doesn't control this case is flawed because the narrow circumstances where it didn't control in other cases he cited do not exist in this case.

Now the Governor has 2 weeks to respond to our response. After that, the judge will rule on the Motion To Dismiss. The Judge may take up to several months to do so.



Ali vs Hogan Part 2: Governor Hogan Files a Motion to Dismiss

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On Monday January 9th 2019, I filed a lawsuit against Maryland's Governor Larry Hogan for violating my civil rights by preventing me from getting a state contract because of my boycott of Israel and Israel's illegal settlements in the West Bank.

Today, Governor Hogan responded with a Motion to Dismiss my case. You can read his motion by clicking below.

The main arguments that Hogan makes in this motion are as follows:

  1. I lack standing to sue because the executive order applies to business entities, not individuals like me.
  2. I lack standing to sue because I have not submitted or been denied a bid or proposal.
  3. I lack standing because I have not voluntarily self-censored my pro-BDS advocacy.
  4. Neither Governor Hogan nor Attorney General Frosh are the proper parties to sue in this case because they don't have a "special relationship" to the enforcement of the executive order.
  5. Restricting boycotts does not violate the First Amendment. And NAACP vs. Claiborne does not control in this case.

Freedom2Boycott defends the 1st Amendment right to boycott, including the boycott of Israel known as BDS. Click to help! Find an Event


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