This week, amid a partial government shutdown, senators tried to sneak through a bill that would encourage states to suppress constitutionally protected political boycotts of Israel.

Ultimately, the Combating BDS Act failed to make it to the Senate floor, largely because enough people exercised their First Amendment right to protest the bill and educate senators that they should get their priorities straight. But it seems that’s not the only education that is in order.

The recent spate of bills that seek to penalize Israel boycotts is a bipartisan problem. Many Senate Democrats blocked the Combating BDS Act this week, rightly arguing that Congress should end the government shutdown rather than making this the first order of business of the new session. But four Senate Democrats voted to pass the bill, and many others, including Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), have expressed support for other anti-boycott efforts, even when they have come at the expense of our constitutional rights.

This week, however, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) led the charge, and even took to Twitter to spread a number of perplexing and often downright false statements about the First Amendment and the Combating BDS Act.

Here’s what Sen. Rubio got wrong:

Fiction: Local and state governments should be free to end contracts with companies that boycott Israel.

Senator Rubio suggested that not only should states be free to boycott the boycotters, they have the right to boycott them. That’s a troubling proposition, and one specifically prohibited under the Constitution.

First Amendment rights belong to the people, not the government. The government cannot impose its views on people or punish them for expressing views that the government disagrees with. This principle applies to both individuals and companies doing business with the state, and with full force to politically motivated boycotts. Two federal courts recently affirmed this, blocking laws in Arizona and Kansas that penalized individuals and companies for boycotting Israel. And this principle was famously tested in the McCarthy era, when many state laws required government employees to declare they were not members of the Communist Party or other “subversive groups” in order to keep their jobs.