Anti-Prostitution Rule Violates Speech Rights, High Court Rules

Thursday, 20 Jun 2013 12:07 PM

 

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
The U.S. Supreme Court bolstered the speech rights of federal grant recipients, ruling that groups receiving money for overseas anti-HIV and AIDS programs can’t be required to take a stance against prostitution.

The justices, voting 6-2, today rejected Obama administration contentions that the restriction was a legitimate condition on the use of federal funds.

“The policy requirement goes beyond preventing recipients from using private funds in a way that would undermine the federal program,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority. “It requires them to pledge allegiance to the government’s policy of eradicating prostitution.”

The dispute centered on a provision in a 2003 law that increased U.S. efforts against infectious diseases around the world. Congress has authorized spending of more than $60 billion under the program.

Groups including Pathfinder International and InterAction challenged the provision, arguing that their work in disease- ravaged countries in Africa and Asia would be compromised if they adopted anti-prostitution policies. The organizations say they work with prostitutes to educate them about HIV and AIDS and to encourage prevention.

The Obama administration contended the provision, which also requires recipients to oppose sex trafficking, is designed to reduce behavior that fosters the spread of HIV and AIDS.

Scalia Dissent

Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented. The requirement “is nothing more than a means of selecting suitable agents to implement the government’s chosen strategy to eradicate HIV/AIDS,” Scalia wrote.

The Supreme Court has said Congress generally can place conditions on the receipt of federal funds. The majority today ruled that Congress went too far by trying to control private speech beyond the scope of the government program. The ruling upholds a federal appeals court decision.

The disputed provision exempted some groups, including the World Health Organization and any United Nations agency.

The case is U.S. Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society, 12-10.


© Copyright 2014 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Rifts Evident Among Top Democrats After Midterm Trouncing

Friday, 28 Nov 2014 09:11 AM

Tensions that have been simmering within the upper echelons of the Democratic Party are rising to the surface in the wak . . .

Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson to Leave Force

Friday, 28 Nov 2014 08:21 AM

The Missouri police officer who killed an unarmed black teen sparking months of protests in the city of Ferguson will ne . . .

States Will Still Hold Strong Sway Against Obama's Amnesty Plan

Friday, 28 Nov 2014 07:50 AM

If Christian Avila lived a few hundred miles to the west, he would have a driver's license, qualify for in-state college . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved