The SA Judicial Board strikes down parts of the BDS resolution

In response, the Divest from Death coalition, which established the Peace Quad encampment, released a statement accusing SA’s J-Board and E-Board of suppressing student voices.

The Judicial Council of the Students’ Association (SA) has deleted parts of the resolution expressing SA’s support for boycott, divestment and sanctions.

The decision, which rescinded three clauses from the resolution, marks a significant development since the resolution was passed at a marathon meeting of the SA Congress on April 16. An Instagram statement from the Divest from Death coalition – 27 student organizations advocating for divestment – ​​accused SA’s J-Board and E-Board of suppressing student speech.

“The SA board has chosen to remain silent and refuses to make this statement public, even though they recognize that it is within their power to do so,” the coalition wrote. “This is a sharp departure from normal procedure. The Judicial Council – with the help of the SA administration – unilaterally reverses a democratic decision in an attempt to suppress student speech.”

The J-Board then announced their ruling that evening at 7:40 PM.

In a statement to Pipe Dream, the SA E-Board emphasized the separation of powers within SA – that the executive and legislature had no influence over the judiciary.

“The J-Board’s primary role is to ensure that all legislation passed by the SA Congress is consistent with the SA Constitution,” the E-Board wrote. “It is critical to note that failure to comply with the J-Board’s rulings may result in legal action against the (SA). Legal action would divert funding from student organizations to legal fees. The J-Board made its ruling during the May 1 congressional meeting, which is in line with their standard procedure. Their ruling typically includes changes to bills, which reflect their legal process. Under the separation of powers, the (E-Board) and Congress were not involved in the ruling or the timing of its release.”

J-Board ruled that the fourth resolved clause, which calls on SA to pressure Binghamton University to divest and cut ties with defense industry companies such as Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems and the US military, was unconstitutional and was discriminated against. persons with military ties.

Under the freedom of speech section of the SA Constitution, the fifth resolved clause was removed, which prohibits SA partnerships with companies that support and supply the Israeli military. The SA constitution says the organization must be “perspective neutral” when making financial or regulatory decisions.

Based on precedent – ​​a SUNY SA resolution adopted in 2021 that included the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism, the J-Board decided to reject the ninth resolved clause, which recognizes Israel as an apartheid state delete. The decision stated that it is not within the J-Board’s power to determine whether or not Israel commits apartheid crimes.

The J-Board, which was given 10 semester days of classes to release decisions, has maintained that they worked objectively, without personal bias.

“The Judicial Board carefully reviewed this legislation and in invoking this 10-semester class days provision, we wanted to ensure that our decision was coherent and substantiated within the governing documents, which is why this process took up almost all of the full 10 semesters of class days. they wrote in a statement to Pipe Dream. “We reaffirm that our decision was impartial to personal beliefs on this matter, and that the decision was based solely on (SA) government documents and past precedents.”

The eighth and tenth resolutions contain clauses recognizing Israel’s military offensive in Gaza as an act of genocide under the provisions of Article II of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, and requiring that the university recognizes this. as such were not struck down. J-Board also upheld the sixth resolved clause calling for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza and the return of all hostages held by Hamas.

The decision was not discussed at Wednesday evening’s SA Congress meeting, the last of the semester.

Following the release of their statement condemning J-Board for their handling of the resolution, the Divest from Death coalition set up an encampment on the Peace Quad on Wednesday evening, planning to remain there for several days. The organizers expressed their belief that the J-Board tried to bury their decision until the end of the semester before being pressured to release a statement.

“The explanations J-Board gave for reversing the resolution are nonsensical,” the coalition wrote. “Military personnel – and not companies with military contracts – are a protected class under the SA Constitution. Furthermore, the resolution’s condemnation of apartheid and genocide is in no way anti-Semitic, even under the vague and controversial IHRA definition. We hope that these anti-democratic, politically motivated actions are corrected.”