Supreme Court to review free speech of HIV/AIDS groups

Comments (14)
Mannix wrote:

If you recall your history Congress was given no power over the press or speech:

Jan 12, 2013 8:11am EST  --  Report as abuse

I see this much like a contract between a sports star and Nike or UnderArmor. The sports star agrees to take the company’s money and will wear only the company’s clothing/shoes – the star can be fined or fired if they don’t compile.

The groups have the choice to accept the funding or not. If they disagree with the stipulation regarding prostitution, then don’t take the money.

If the gov. can tell a company they have to provide birth control or be fined, then certainly they can tell a company to oppose prostitution.

Jan 12, 2013 9:34am EST  --  Report as abuse
PinballFan wrote:

Why has this made it through the courts at all, let alone to the supreme court? I hope the justices flush this down the drain with a unanimous verdict with a written opinion that will fit on a 3-by-5 index card: “He who pays the piper calls the tune.” Translation: If you seek and accept funding from the government, don’t act surprised when they attach strings to it.

Jan 12, 2013 9:35am EST  --  Report as abuse

Of course the government has the authority to set operating guidelines for organizations requesting government funding. The government cannnot restrict the speech but certainly can restrict the money.

Jan 12, 2013 10:33am EST  --  Report as abuse
Tinman42 wrote:

The government has no right to infringe On these groups to say or not say anything they want ,however the government has no authority to fund these groups in any way.

Jan 12, 2013 10:44am EST  --  Report as abuse
efeinsmith wrote:

But in this situation, the protesting groups are accepting taxpayer grants (i.e. $$$$$). If the don’t like the rules, then just say no to the money and say what you want. I’t not much different from accepting meals from the Salvation Army and then complain because you need to hear their religious message. If the money is coming out of my pocket, I do have some say in how it will be soent.

Jan 12, 2013 10:51am EST  --  Report as abuse
p3orion wrote:

Maybe while they’re at it, SCOTUS can point out exactly which article of the Constitution authorizes the federal government to spend ANY money on overseas AIDS programs, regardless of the attached language.

I’m not saying it’s not a good thing, just that it’s not constitutional. Lots of things that are nice are just not in the proper purview of the government.

Jan 12, 2013 11:58am EST  --  Report as abuse
unoga wrote:

as others have stated before me, strings should be attached to offers of public funding AND this should extend to foreign aid.

Jan 12, 2013 12:23pm EST  --  Report as abuse
alipax wrote:

I marvel at the postings here, where everyone seems to think it a good thing that the government can demand that you give up your Constitutional rights in order to receive federal aid. Such as, You can receive welfare only if you give up your right to vote or you are required to vote for a particular candidate. You can be covered by Obamacare, only if you surrender your right to speak about public issues. You can receive a Stafford loan, only if your forsake your religious beliefs. You can receive veterans benefits only if you state that everything the US military does is always right. As for Efeinsmith, your analogy is basically flawed.
The salvation army is a private organization. They are not bound by the Constitutional constraints on governmental power. Your say consists of the ballot box. You are not allowed to compromise rights provided by our constitution.

Jan 12, 2013 8:28pm EST  --  Report as abuse
jabusse wrote:

why are we giving them anything anyway? Stop the insanity now.

Jan 12, 2013 8:29pm EST  --  Report as abuse
jabusse wrote:

since when is being silent an admission of guilt in a criminal case? What kind of prosecutor would resort to that? I can understand it in a civil case where if you don’t deny an accusation you might be thought of as accepting it as true. “Mr. Smith you are a molester.” but that is just another way of asking “Mr. Smith are you a molester.” The difference is that in one case the courts allow silence as evidence and the other it isn’t. Crappy court decisions make for crappy prosecutors and insane defense attorneys who sometimes win.

Jan 12, 2013 8:36pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Parker1227 wrote:

This is ridiculous. The organizations can say anything they want – and the government can decline funding to any organization it feels is doing a bad job with taxpayer money.

I am waiting for someone to sue the gay lobbies who shut down the CDC and prevented it from doing its job tracking infections during the beginning of the HIV plague.

This was nothing short of genocide.

Jan 13, 2013 5:23am EST  --  Report as abuse
PinballFan wrote:

alipax, you are kidding, right? Taking your logic to the extreme, the government should gladly hand over our money to an overseas AIDS program that just also happens to advocate for the overthrow of the US government. Freedom of speech, right?

Well, of course such an organization could have a belief like that. But they shouldn’t be surprised when our otherwise far-too-generous government rubberstamps their funding request with a big red NO.

You have a right to free speech. You do not have a right to my wallet to subsidize your free speech.

Jan 13, 2013 1:07pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Babettchen wrote:

I feel that the point being missed by the commenters is this: the US government, via the (2003) Congressional appropriation of the HIV/PEPFAR/USAID funding, authorized cracking down on both domestic and overseas prostitution by conflating it with trafficking and reducing it to something that flat-out exploits women. To make this palatable, it appropriated funds by masking the anti-prostitution effort as a huge ge$ture of how concerned it is about the world AIDS crisis.

Trouble is, many organizations doing good work emboldening sex workers in the US and abroad to reduce the harm incident to their life choices (without judging about why prostitution was chosen over the scant others) and preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS in the process.

Sex work is exploitative precisely because it is made illegal, and sex workers who are victims of sexual violence tend to be exploited by the very police that are supposed to help, or cannot otherwise turn to law enforcement to protect them from this and help deter this terrible terrible exploitation blight that Congress is so valiantly pretending to address.

Aside: five bucks says that all the “regulate away!” fans in this thread hated Obamacare until Justice Roberts told you all to stop freaking out about regulation and worry about taxation instead.

Jan 14, 2013 11:57pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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