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U.S. Supreme Court

Free-speech rights of AIDS-fighting groups at issue in new Supreme Court case

Posted Jan 14, 2013 10:05 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to consider the First Amendment rights of AIDS-fighting groups that receive federal funding.

At issue is whether the groups can be forced to adopt policies opposing prostitution and sex-trafficking as a condition of receiving the money, report SCOTUSblog, the New York Times and the Washington Post. The groups say they recognize the harms associated with prostitution. But they avoid taking policy positions that could offend nations where they work, therefore impeding the groups’ effectiveness.

The U.S. Solicitor General filed the cert petition (PDF) after the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the law violated the First Amendment.

Justice Elena Kagan has recused herself in the case, United States Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society International.

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