June 25, 2013
On June 20, 2013, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society International, Inc. The question in the case was whether United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003, which requires an organization to have a policy explicitly opposing prostitution and sex trafficking in order to receive federal funding to provide HIV and AIDS programs overseas, violates the First Amendment.
In an opinion delivered by Chief Justice Roberts, the Court held by a vote of 6-2 that the policy requirement violates the First Amendment because it compels as a condition of federal funding the affirmation of a belief that, by its nature, cannot be confined within the scope of the government program at issue. Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Alito and Sotomayor joined the majority opinion. Justice Scalia filed a dissenting opinion which was joined by Justice Thomas. Justice Kagan took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.
To discuss the case we have Erik Jaffe, a Washington, D.C. attorney who specializes in appellate litigation.