Constitutional Pressure Points

Here’s a series of events I found interesting.  This story reports that in 2006, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops had been awarded a government contract for the provision of assistance to victims of human trafficking.  These contracts are awarded pursuant to the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.  Earlier this October, the contract with the USCCB was not renewed by the government and it was awarded to three other non-profit organizations.  There is some speculation in the story that the reason the contract was not extended was the USCCB’s unwillingness to refer victims to abortion providers or supply birth control, but the government did not explain its decision.

In related news, in 2009, the ACLU of Massachusetts filed a federal action in the District of Massachusetts against the federal government alleging that its decision to award this contract to the USCCB violated the Establishment Clause.  Read more