USAID v AOSI: Supreme Court rules in favor of free speech

  

WASHINGTON, June 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-2 in InterAction's favor in the case of USAID v AOSI. This case, in which InterAction is a co-plaintiff, challenged a 2003 law that requires all groups receiving U.S government funds for international HIV and AIDS work to have "a policy explicitly opposing prostitution."

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Statement from Samuel A. Worthington, president and CEO of InterAction:

"We are thrilled that the Supreme Court upheld by 6-2 the lower courts' decisions that this U.S. government policy requirement is unconstitutional because it violates free speech rights. This policy requirement affected the ability to provide life-saving health services to vulnerable populations in the fight against HIV and AIDS and prevented us from speaking freely in the important debate over how best to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS. While we agree that the government can say how it wants its money spent, this requirement went far beyond that by shutting down research and debate on important topics. We are heartened by the decision and ready to continue our partnership with the U.S. government to save lives."

InterAction is carefully reviewing the implications of the Supreme Court's decision and will share a more detailed statement later. Other co-plaintiffs in the case are the Alliance for Open Society International, Pathfinder International and the Global Health Council. Ten amicus briefs were submitted in support of the respondents, spanning progressive and conservative voices. 

Attorneys from the international law firm WilmerHale represented the plaintiffs in the case.

InterAction is the largest alliance of U.S.-based nongovernmental international organizations, with more than 180 members. Our members operate in every developing country, working with local communities to overcome poverty and suffering by helping to improve their quality of life. Visit www.interaction.org.

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SOURCE InterAction



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