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Patricia O'Connell
Senior Communications Manager

Wiley Rein Files Amicus Brief in Supreme Court First Amendment Case

April 4, 2013

Wiley Rein has filed an amicus brief on behalf of The Rutherford Institute in an important First Amendment case that will be argued before the United States Supreme Court later this month. The case, United States Agency for International Development, et al. v. Alliance for Open Society International, Inc., et al., raises significant questions regarding government spending and free speech.

In an effort for the United States to become a global leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS, Congress passed the Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Act (the Leadership Act) and authorized the spending of billions of dollars worldwide to fight the disease. As part of the legislation, Congress mandated that organizations receiving federal funds under the program must explicitly state their opposition to prostitution and sex trafficking.  A number of organizations, including international aid groups, challenged this policy, arguing that it violates the First Amendment.

In the amicus brief, Wiley Rein argued that “while Congress has authority to control the ways in which federal dollars are used by private recipients, this case goes far beyond that power” and “this case involves a novel and intrusive requirement on certain private recipients of federal Leadership Act funding to adopt as their own a government-mandated policy position.”

Wiley Rein partners Megan L. Brown and Joshua S. Turner, along with associates May K. Chiang and Meredith M. Goldich worked on the brief.