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WilmerHale Secures Historic Supreme Court Win in USAID v. AOSI

June 20, 2013

WilmerHale secured a victory for clients Alliance for Open Society International, Inc., Pathfinder International, InterAction, and Global Health Council (collectively, "respondents") in a significant First Amendment case decided today by the Supreme Court of the United States. By a 6-2 vote, the court held in Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society International, Inc., et al. that the federal government may not condition federal funding on restrictions of speech that require recipients of government funds to adopt and express the government's viewpoint as their own and prohibit recipients from engaging in speech-even if privately funded-that the government deems inconsistent with its views. 

"This is a very gratifying victory for our clients, who have worked tirelessly alongside the government in the fight against HIV/AIDS, as well as an important victory for free speech and the First Amendment," said WilmerHale Partner David W. Bowker

The Supreme Court's decision affirms the respondents' victory in the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which in turn affirmed a judgment for respondents in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. 

WilmerHale, along with the Brennan Center for Justice, Rebekah Diller of the Cardozo School of Law, and Laura Abel of the National Center for Access to Justice, represented respondents before the district court, the court of appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States. Bowker, chair of WilmerHale's International Litigation/Controversy Working Group, argued the case before the Supreme Court. The team of WilmerHale attorneys on the case included Partners Mark C. Fleming and Catherine M. A. Carroll, Senior Associates Jason D. Hirsch, Michael D. Gottesman, and Weili Shaw, and former Senior Associate Shalev Roisman on the briefs.