ABA Journal


U.S. Supreme Court

AIDS-fighting groups can’t be forced to oppose prostitution as funding condition, SCOTUS says

Jun 20, 2013, 03:02 pm CDT


This law was do-gooder stupidity on an ABA-like scale. Apparently, helping fight AIDS is only good if the people doing it agree with the do-gooders' stance on prostitution. Again, for purposes of fighting sexually transmitted diseases, it would be more effective to legalize and regulate prostitution than to ban it. This has been shown in jurisdictions that use this approach. Thinking persons have to decide whether disease control is more or less important than stamping out a trade for failing to conform to their social values.

By B. McLeod on 2013 06 20, 3:23 pm CDT

Agree completely, McLeod. But prepare for the onslaught.

By Pushkin on 2013 06 20, 3:38 pm CDT

Comment removed by moderator.

By Marc on 2013 06 20, 5:18 pm CDT

Uh Oh. Pushkin is being nice to McLeod. I'm pretty sure that is The Eighth Seal. If it is broken by a Cooley 1L we are all doomed.

By W.R.T. on 2013 06 20, 10:42 pm CDT

Little presumptuous of you isn't it W.R.T., linking the fate of others to yours. When you go it will be without a ripple. But if you're in a hurry break the Seal yourself. You qualify on your own terms, nunc pro tunc.

By Pushkin on 2013 06 20, 11:24 pm CDT

How far we have drifted from LAW in the appropriation! See US Const Art I, Sec 9. But, we must sustain the advantage, the PRIVILEGE! Ah, the 'slip and slide'!

By gdp on 2013 06 21, 11:54 am CDT

It's time to extend this logic to the 9th and 10th amendments, ending Medicaid "maintenance of effort" requirements.

By JD on 2013 06 21, 12:32 pm CDT

Does this mean that it is unconstitutional for the IRS to demand that anti-abortion group tell the IRS what it prays about? Or to condition the group's tax exemption on promising not to hold lawful demonstrations at Planned Parenthood?

By Ohio Lawyer on 2013 06 21, 1:19 pm CDT

I'm with McLeod. Fighting a deadly epidemic disease trumps any social disapproval of prostitution, always. It is far better to get rid of the inhumane ban against prostitution and let these marginalized people rejoin us in civil society for our mutual fight against HIV and AIDS. We cannot protect society when so many people have been shut away from fully participating in it for so-called "moral" reasons.

AIDS is only one of many life-threatening dangers facing prostitutes, for no other reason than they are helplessly stuck in the black market for their livelihood. As long as prostitutes are socially shut out of our public health system, they will become a reservoir of infection for the rest of us that will never be fully addressed, treated or cured. You can't kill all the prostitutes to prevent AIDS from spreading, so the only sound alternative is to stop making prostitution illegal. Until then, we will always face the fact that we have HIV infected people walking around who we refuse to help because we don't like their jobs.

By sunforester on 2013 06 21, 3:42 pm CDT

The Supreme Court has been consistent in pointing out that content based speech is protected and government has no right to regulate it no matter how laudable the purpose. Loyality oaths are prohibited.

The question that is raised at this juncture is whether or not government is going to understand that it cannot use any guise to regulate First, Fifth and Fourteen Amendment principles. Thus, a professional regulatory body cannot discipline a broker for claiming that a particular development is dangerous, or a lawyer for claiming that a particular judge is corrupt, or a stock broker for not recommending a particular stock etc. This case plus Alvarez, Citizen United, Brown et al all affirm that our Supreme Court believes the "substance trumps form" and Justices Black and Douglas' view of the Bill of Rights is correct for the 21st Century.

As Citizens United, like Roe, is the law of the land the government and the 2nd oldest profession must give each full faith and credit.

By Ken Ditkowsky on 2013 06 21, 4:34 pm CDT

The reality is, AIDS, and most severe bacterial and viral diseases are easily cured with vitamin C, in lyposomal or lypospheric form. This has been reported in the "Real Story about Vitamin C" available on Amazon and a couple of my AIDS infected friends have tried it also and it works (dose 6 to 10 gr per day for at least a week, 3 gr per day after that, and 2 gr per day maintenance)
But mega pharma isn't interested in anything that is quick acting and relatively cheap so it will be debunked, as have simple cancer cures. Mega pharma and insurance want us tied into $100,000+ cures that often don't work and have to be repeated over and over until the patient eventually dies.
Slight improvement with expensive drugs is the most important key to US corporations.
the best way to do this is just do word of mouth.

By JMD on 2013 06 21, 7:20 pm CDT

Well God bless Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.!

By Tom Youngjohn on 2013 06 21, 11:06 pm CDT

@11 - Unfortunately, high doses of vitamin C also cause dementia and a tendency towards conspiratorial delusions.

By NoleLaw on 2013 06 25, 6:21 pm CDT

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