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Anti-Boycott Legislation and the Expressive Rights of Businesses: The Ethics and Legality of State Laws that Combat the BDS Movement

April 2, 2020 at 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT


About the Program:

The Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity will host a panel discussion regarding state laws that attempt to punish businesses that engage in or support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (“BDS”) movement against Israel. Dozens of state legislatures have passed laws that variously prohibit the state government from contracting with companies or individuals that participate in BDS. Such laws implicate the rights of businesses to engage in a form of political activism that may be protected by the First Amendment. Further, these laws raises complex legal and political questions related to the call for more corporate social responsibility as well as other controversies involving the constitutional rights of corporations.


Professor Debbie Kaminer, Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College

Debbie Kaminer is a Professor in the Department of Law at the Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College (CUNY). She received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. from the Columbia University School of Law.

Professor Kaminer’s scholarship focuses on employment law and religion and the law. Her work has appeared in the American University Law Review, the Berkeley Journal of Employment & Labor Law, the New York University Journal of Legislation and Public Policy, the Stanford Law & Policy Review, the Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law, The Texas Review of Law and Politics, Health Matrix, The Journal of Law Religion and State, USA Today, The New York State Bar Journal and The New York Law Journal. She has presented her research at both national and international conferences. Professor Kaminer teaches Law 9000 (The Legal and Ethical Environment of Business), Law 9201 (Overview of Business Law and Ethics), Law 3123 (Employment Law), Law 3102 (The Law of Business Organizations) and Law 1101 (Fundamentals of Business Law).

Prior to joining the faculty at Baruch, Professor Kaminer worked as an attorney at IBM and at a national civil rights organization. She is a certified mediator and serves as an arbitrator for FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority).

Prof. David Rosenberg, Director, Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity, Baruch College

David Rosenberg, Esq., was appointed Academic Director of the Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity in July 2012. He is an Associate Professor in the Law Department in the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College. Professor Rosenberg teaches the law of business organizations and other business law subjects in the Zicklin School’s undergraduate and Master’s degree programs and also teaches a seminar on New York City in the Macaulay Honors College. He holds a J.D. from Cornell Law School where he was an Editor of the Cornell Law Review. He received a B.A. in English Literature from Oberlin College.

Professor Rosenberg is an expert on the fiduciary duties of corporate directors as well as on the Constitutional rights of business stakeholders. In the past several years he has published scholarly articles on corporate governance and the religious and expressive rights of corporations. His most recent work has addressed the Constitutional and corporate law implications of the Supreme Court’s decisions in Hobby Lobby and Citizens United.


Sarah Saadoun Researcher, Human Rights Watch

Sarah Saadoun is a researcher working on corruption and moneyed interests at Human Rights Watch. She investigates how the influence of money can skew government spending and regulation in ways that undermine human rights, including to health, clean water, and education.

Most recently, Saadoun investigated the human rights impact of the US government’s deregulation of mountaintop-removal coal mining, as well as of the disposal of coal ash, a toxic byproduct of combusting coal. She has also researched and written extensively on how corruption in resource-rich countries robs people of their fundamental rights, with a particular focus on Equatorial Guinea.

Saadoun was formerly a Leonard H. Sandler fellow at Human Rights Watch, where she researched and reported on human rights abuses in Israel and Palestine. Her primary focus was human rights and international humanitarian law violations associated with businesses operating in or with Israeli settlements in the West Bank, as well as developing broader guidance for companies doing business in occupied territories.

Saadoun received a law degree from Columbia Law School in 2014, a master’s degree in comparative literature from Hebrew University in 2009, and a bachelor’s degree in English from Queens College of the City University of New York in 2004.

Prof. Amy Sepinwall, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania

Amy Sepinwall is an Associate Professor at Wharton (University of Pennsylvania) in the Department of Legal Studies and Business Ethics. She received her B.A. with First Class Honours in Philosophy and English from McGill University, where she also earned a Masters degree in Bioethics. She graduated with a J.D. from Yale Law School, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy, with Distinction, from Georgetown.


Professor Sepinwall has two research streams. The first interrogates notions of complicity within institutions and in the commercial sphere. She is especially interested in cases where exercises of conscience threaten civic equality, as where businesses seek to refuse service to LGBTQ individuals. The second addresses the role of money in politics, with an eye to promoting political equality. Professor Sepinwall’s works have been published in venues such as the University of Chicago Law Review, Washington University Law Review, Minnesota Law Review, Hastings Law Journal, Journal of Corporation Law, Business Ethics Quarterly, and Philosophy Compass.


12:00 pm – Registration and Lunch Networking Reception
12:45 pm – Presentation


Complimentary pre-registration is required to attend this program. Register online, by phone or e-mail:

• Complete the online registration form
• Call us at 646-312-3231
• E-mail us at ruzdo.srdanovic@baruch.cuny.edu


April 2, 2020
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Baruch College – Library Building Room 750-760
151 East 25 Street
New York, NY 10010 United States


Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity