The US Supreme Court has denied federal funding to billionaire financier George Soros’ international anti-AIDS organizations, ruling that in order to access the federal cash, the groups must explicitly oppose prostitution.
The court’s five conservative-leaning justices overruled three of their liberal colleagues on Monday, with Justice Brett Kavanaugh delivering the majority verdict (see PDF below). The fourth liberal justice, Elena Kagan, sat out the case.
The Alliance for Open Society International, a US-based subsidiary of Soros’ Open Society Foundations, hoped to distribute federal funds earmarked for the fight against HIV/AIDS to its foreign sister organizations. However, these organizations refused to comply with a 2003 Congressional requirement that they adopt “a policy explicitly opposing prostitution and sex trafficking,” which Congress at the time described as “additional causes of… the HIV/AIDS epidemic.”
In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that this policy requirement violated the First Amendment rights of the Soros-funded groups. However, the court on Monday ruled that the groups’ foreign affiliates are not afforded the same protection under the Constitution.
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