The Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee debated and defeated a resolution, opposed by the ACLU of Illinois, which urged academia to condemn college and university boycotts as a tool to influence policy issues on the international scene. The defeated non-binding resolution called on Illinois college and university presidents to publicly oppose boycotts in an effort to deter any action against Israeli institutions now being promoted on many campuses by pro-Palestinian groups. Introduced by Illinois State Senator Ira Silverstein (D-8th) the resolution sited the disruptive effects boycotts have on students’ rights to a global education. ACLU of Illinois Legislative Director Mary Dixon sited the U. S. Supreme Court decisions upholding the importance of freedom of association. In her statement on the resolution Dixon said:

A boycott is an important and powerful form of protected expressive association protected by the First Amendment. Speech and nonviolent picketing in support of a boycott encompasses the practice of people sharing common views banding together to achieve a common end, a practice deeply embedded in the American political process. By this collective effort, individuals can make their views known when, individually, their voices would be faint or lost.

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