The Supreme Court ruled yesterday with a six-justice majority that the "Anti-Prostitution Loyalty Oath" (APLO) in the 2003 United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria act violated the First Amendment and was unconstitutional. The APLO required groups receiving government funds to fight HIV/AIDS around the globe to adopt policies opposing prostitution and human trafficking.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts, who wrote the decision for the majority, worried that the APLO "may alienate certain host governments, and may diminish the effectiveness of some of their programs." Marine Buissonniere, who directs the group Open Society Public Health Program opposing the APLO, agrees. "Public health groups cannot tell sex workers that we 'oppose them'," she said, "yet expect them to be partners in preventing HIV."
Groups within the United States will no longer be required to agree to the APLO to receive funding for work done abroad. Groups from overseas may still be required to agree. Research presented at the July 2012 International AIDS Conference found that the APLO hurt US HIV programs by encouraging groups to limit or eliminate programs that targeted sex workers in fear of losing their funding.
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state.
Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations.
More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .