Supreme Court Strikes Down Government’s Anti-Prostitution Mandate As First Amendment Violation

Supreme Court Strikes Down Government’s Anti-Prostitution Mandate As First Amendment Violation
By Nicole Flatow
Under a law signed by President George W. Bush, organizations that receive federal funding for HIV and AIDS prevention were required to openly oppose both prostitution and sex trafficking — a mandate that put organizations who often deal precisely with those populations in a particularly untenable position.
In a 6-2 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court said this anti-prostitution pledge violates the groups’ First Amendment rights, holding that organizations cannot be required to “pledge allegiance to the Government’s policy of eradicating prostitution” as a condition of federal funding. This means that the federal government cannot use federal funds as “leverage” to suppress speech it doesn’t like. It can, however, dictate that that only particular kinds of speech can be funded by the government’s money, so long as organizations are permitted to fund other speech through other sources.
via Supreme Court Strikes Down Government’s Anti-Prostitution Mandate As First Amendment Violation



 
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