At a candidate forum at the Muslim Community Center in Silver Spring on Sunday October 7th, I asked Ben Jealous -- the Democratic candidate for Governor of Maryland -- if as our next governor he would revoke Governor Larry Hogan's Anti-BDS executive order.
Mr Jealous did not give a firm yes or no, but he indicated quite clearly that he believes the executive order is unconstitutional:
Saqib Ali: ".....it's called the Anti-BDS Bill. Unfortunately Craig was a co-sponsor of that bill last year. It didn't pass but as you know, Larry Hogan passed that as an executive order -- to ban any company that boycotts the illegal Israeli settlements from getting state contracts. ACLU says it's unconstitutional. It's been blocked in Kansas and Arizona. You're a big civil rights guy. We know it. You’ve been with Amnesty International, NAACP. if you become governor will you revoke that unconstitutional executive order?"
Ben Jealous: "Thanks for the question. My belief is that the court will ultimately invalidate it. I'm not sure how it actually meets constitutional muster. And the only way to deal with an issue as controversial is that is through legislation. There should have been open debate before any executive order was passed.
My understanding is that there are lawsuits moving on the issue right now in other parts of the country. I suspect that the issue will be taken care of before January of next year. Let's see what happens with the courts. But the only way to deal with an issue like this is through legislation. I think there's a reason why It didn't pass.
And again I'm very confident that the courts will will ultimately find... if u look at all the precedent -- including cases involving the NAACP -- actions like this have... well the constitutional precedent is just very very clear that they don't pass the test of the First Amendment to the Constitution."
Saqib Ali: "As Governor, you can revoke….."
Bean Jealous: "Lets see what happens in the courts first."
Watch Mr Jealous's statement here.